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First Published, January 1946 

Reprirtecl, May 1946 
Thud Edition Revised, July 1947 


Printed by G, G. Pathare, at the Popular Printing 
Press, 103 Tardeo Road, Bombay 7, and Published by 
V. Kulkarm, Hind Kitabs Ltd., 261-263 Hornby iRd., Bomlay 











Since a reprint of India Divided was published in May 1946, 
events have moved with tremendous rapidity in India. It has not 
been possible for me to revise the text or to incorporate the matter 
that was given as an Addendum in the reprint into the body uf the 
book. But I have brought the discussion of the subject vjp to date 
by extending the Addendum, I trust it will he found useful as 
giving a connected account of a most important aspect of Indian- 
politics. Some typographical mistakes, which had crept into pre- 
vious editions, have been corrected. 


JOth June 1947. 


The question of partition of India into Muslim and Hindu 
zones has assumed importance since the All-India Muslim League 
passed a resolution in its favour at Lahore in March, 1940. Much 
has been written on it and a literature has grown round it. But f 
believe there Is room for another book which tries to discuss the 
question in all its aspects. In India Divided I have made an attempt 
to collect in a compact form information and material likely to help 
the reader ia forming an opinion of his own. I have expressed my 
own opinion on the basis of the material so collected but I believe 
I have placed the material apart from any conclusions 1 have drawn 
therefrom and it is open to the reader to ignore my conclusions and 
draw his own inferences, if he can. 

The book is divided into six parts. "Part 1 deals with the 
theory of Hindus and Muslims of India being two nations. While 
showing that the theory is as unsupported by history and facts of 
every-day life, as by the opinion of distinguished and representative/ 
Musalmans, it points out that even if it be assumed that the Musal- 
mans are a separate nation, the solution of the Hindu-Muslim 
problem in India should, on the basis of experience of other 
countries and on the strength of the latest and most authoritative 
writers of international repute on the subject, be sought in the 
formation of a multinational State in which a powerful political 
union guarantees cultural autonomy to different national groups; 


and not in the creation of national States which will not only leave 
the problem of national minorities unsolved but will also create 
more new problems relating to questions financial, economic, 
industrial and political, and military defence and strategy than 
it will solve,, 

Part H discusses at length how the Hindu-Muslim problem 
has arisen and grown to its present proportions and how with the 
lengthening of the base of the communal triangle, the angle of 
difference between the communities has become wider and wider. 

JPart III gives the summary of a number of schemes of parti- 
tion which* have appeared. 

Part IV, points out the vagueness and ambiguity of the Lahore 
Resolution of the All- India Muslim League and the difficulty which 
faces any one trying to consider it on its merits. It analyses the 
Resolution and, giving their natural meaning to the words used in 
the Resolution, it fixes the boundaries of Pakistan. 

Part V deals with the resources of the Muslim States and 
shows how the scheme of partition is impracticable. 

Part VI gives various proposals put forward by persons or 
bodies for solving the Hindu-Muslim problem. 

Parts I, HI, IV, V and VI of the book were written in the 
Bankipur jail and during intervals of comparatively good health. 
They, therefore, naturally bear the inevitable marks of work done 
under some limitations. Since my release I have bem able to find 
time to write Part II but none to revise the portion written pre- 
viously. The difficulty of getting books in jail was removed to a 
considerable extent by the kindness of Dr Sachchidananda Sinha 
who freely allowed books to be lent out of the Sinha Library and of 
Sir Rajiva Ranjan Prasad Sinha, President of the Bihar Legislative 
Council, who lent some books from the Library of the Bihar Legis- 
lature. Shri Shanti Kumar Morarji of Bombay supplied me with a 
number of books and\some statistics. My thanks are due to all these 
gentlemen. 1 am thankful to Shri K. T. Shah of Bombay and Pro- 
fessor Balkrishna of the Birla College, Pilani, for some valuable 
suggestions and to tlie Birla College for a free use of its library. 
Typed copy of the portion written in jail was prepared there and 
my thanks are due to Shri M. John, Secretary, Tata Workers 1 
Union, -Jamshed pur for making the .typed copy and to Shris S. H. 
Razi, M. D. Madan and M. K. Ghosh for comparing the typed copy. 
I dm grateful to the Government of Bihar for permitting Shri John 
to prepare the typed copy. Shri M. K. Ghosh of the Tata Research 
Laboratory, Jamshedpur, kindly checked the figures and prepared 
the graphs and I owe him a debt of thanks. My thanks are due 
also to Shri "Mat hura Prasad and to Shri Chakradhar Sharan for 
help of various kinds in preparing Part II and for seeing the book 
through the press, 


1 have acknowledged my indebtedness wherever I have taken 
any statement or quotation from others. 

Sadaqat Ashram, 1 

Dighaghat, Patna, V RAJENDRA PRASAD 

1 5th December, 1045. J 


It has not been possible to revise the text of the book for a 
reprint. But an addendum has been made bringing tho discussion 
of the subject up to date. 

26th April, 1946. 

R. P. 








I. RELIGION . ,, ..30 

,11. SOCIAL LIFE . .. , .. 40 

III. LANGUAGE .* .. . ... ..53 

IV. ART . 57 

V. ONE COUNTRY .. .. ,. 66 

VI. ONE HISTORY . . . . . . . , 69 


6. INTRODUCTORY .. ., ... .. .. .. 85 


8. THE WAHABI MOVEMENT .. . . .. .. .. 91 



POLITICS .. .. .. .. .. 99 




35. THE ANGLE OF DIFFERENCE WIDENS . * .. .. .. 141 

16. SUMMARY OF PART II . . .. .. .. ..164 



18. THE ALIGARH PROFESSORS' SCHEME . . . . . . . . 181 

10. C. RAHMAT ALI'S SCHEME . . . * . . . . . . . 184 

20. DR S. A. LATIF'S SCHEME . . . . . . . . . 188 



23. THE BIRTH OF THE IDEA OF PARTITION . . . . . . . 204 




26. THE RESOLUTION ANALYSED . . . . . . . . . . 22^ 











30. MINERALS .. .. . .. . .. . ..287 

31. FORESTS 290 

32. INDUSTRY .. . . 291 







35. THE CRflPPS PROPOSAL .. ..341 



38. SIR ARDESHIR DALAL'S SCHEME . . . . . . 359 


PROBLEM ., 364 


41. SAPRU C6MMITTEE'S PROPOSALS . . .. . .376 

42. DR AMBEDKAR'S SCHEME . .. . .. ..383 


44. EPILOGUE 389 

ADDENDUM .. ..393 

GRAPHS . . . . . 4 . . . . . . 401-406 


Population by Communities 

Population by Communities 


Population by Communities 


Compared with those in Muslim and non-Muslim Zones after Partition 


XI. INDUSTRIES (in Terms of Average D^ily Workers Employed) 
XII. MINERAL RAISINGS (in Terms of Value) 
BIBMOGRAPHY ...... 407 

INDEX ;; 409 













MUSLIM ZONE .. * .. 









CLUDED .... 



CENSUSES OF 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931 AND 1941 







N -W F P. AND SIND IN 1939-40 



























& EASTERN ZONES .. .. .. ., .. 307 



SINCE 1938-1930 . .. ..308 

WISE, 1939-1940 . . . .. ..310 


MUSLIM ZONES .. . . 311 



XLIV. PUBLIC DEBT IN 1939-1940 .. .. .. . 313 




XLVII. RAILWAYS (1939-40) . . 315 



INDIAN ARMY ., .. .. .. .. ..333 




AMBEDKAR .. .. .. .. .. ..384 

OF BIHAR ADDED . . . . . . . . . . . 396 


ELECTIONS . . . . w . . 399 


The proposal to divide India into separate Muslim and non- 
Muslim Zones, each such Zone being constituted fojto in indepen- 
dent sovereign state, is based on the theory that Hindus and Musal- 
mans constitute two separate nations. ' Musalmans are a nation/ 
said Mr M. A. Jinnah in his Presidential Address at the Lahore 
session of the Muslim League which adopted a resolution favouring 
such division, ' according to any definition of a nation, and they 
must have their homelands, their t territory and their state/ 1 ' It is 
extremely difficult to appreciate* why 'our Hindu friends fail to 
understand the real nature of Islam and Hinduism. ^They arfe not 
religions in the strict sense of the word, but are, in fact, different and 
distinct social orders, and it is a dream that the Hindus and Mus- 
lims can ever evolve a common nationality, and this misconception 
of one Indiau Nation has gone far beyond the limits and is the cause 
of most of our troubles and will lead India to destruction if we fail 
to revise our notions in time. The Hindus and Muslims belong to 
two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures. 
They neither intermarry nor interdine together, and, indeed, they 
belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on 
conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspects on life and of life 
are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Musalmans derive 
their inspiration from different sources of history. They have diffe- 
rent epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the 
hero of one is a foe of the other and, likevnse, their victories and 
defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single 
state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must 
lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that 
may be so built up for the government of such a state.' 2 

* A Punjabi ' who has written a book named Confederacy of India 
has based his thesis on the same theory : ' From our previous \if$- 
cussions we find that the Hindus and Muslims are two absolutely 
different entities. Their civilizations are pronouncedly individua-, 
listic, and although they may have influenced each other, yet they 
cannot suffer absorption into each other. Their habits and customs/ 
social systems, moral codes, religious, political and cultural ideas, 

1. "Recent Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah", p. 155. 

2. ibid., p. 153. J 


traditions, languages, literature, art and outlook on life are abso* 
lutely different from, nay hostile to, one another. These hetero- 
geneoits essentials of their respective lives are not the elements 
which go to the formation of a single nation. They always create 
mutual distrust and misunderstanding. The basic differences 
between the communities, the memories of their past and present 
rivalries, and the wrongs they registered against each other during 
the last one thousand years form an unbridgeable gulf between 
them. \s we have already observed the only thing common between 
them for {he last few centuries has been the common yoke of a 
foreign rule. AS soon as the cord which binds them in a common 
allegiance to a foreign state snaps, they will disintegrate and their 
mutual differences, which are not felt at present as acutely as they 
should, wil!t show themselves more glaringly/ 3 

Profs. Syed Zafrul Hasan and Mohamad Afzal Husain Qadri of 
Aligarh who have written a pamphlet in which they have worked 
out a scheme of division of India are not less emphatic than ' A 
Punjabi'. They say : ' Its [of the Government of India Act of 
1935] fundamental fault is that it does not recognize the undeniable 
fact that the Muslims of India are a nation distinct from Hindus, 
vitally opposed to the latter in their outlook and aspirations and 
incapable of being merged into any other so-called nation, Hindu or 
non-Hindu/ Again: * We are convinced that we, thj Muslims of 
India, must insist persistently and strenuously on among other 
things that the Muslims of India are a nation by themselves. 
They have a distinct national entity wholly different from the 
Hindus and other non-Muslim groups. Indeed, they are more diffe- 
rent from the Hindus than the Sudeten Germans were from the 

El. Ilamza has written a book Pakistan A Nation for tne purpose 
of showing (i) that India is not one country but several countries, 
with widely different human environments, and (2) that the diver- 
sity of race and culture of its inhabitants is so great that they can- 
not be regarded as one nation (in the modern political sense of the 
word ' nation') but must be considered as belonging to several 
nations. 4 In showing these differences he has become rapturous, 
idyllic ' Hinduism is of the monsoon as Islam is of the desert. ' 5 
' Probably the individuality of the North- West is indicated by no 
other single fact in so striking a manner as by the distribution of 
tfamelst over India.' 6 ' Our associations with the camel in different 
directions of thought geographical, historical and philosophic 
are so multitudinous that the history of an epoch in the evolution 
of civilization can be read in their light. The camel may be taken 

3. "Confederacy of India", by 'A Punjabi', pp. 150-t 

4. El. Hamza: "Pakistan- A Nation ", p. 7.. 

5. ibid., p. 45. 

6. ibid., p. 70. 


as the symbol of that great transformation in the historical process 
which, proceeding from south-western Asia as a spontaneous race* 
urge, took in its sweep all the known world. Living several hundred 
years after, we see the brilliant colours of Arab greatness in distant 
and blurred magnificence; and throughout this pageant of centuries 
the caravans of conquest move on camels' backs against a back- 
ground of Simoom-blown sands. The days of Arab greatness are 
past, but the camel is still the associate of man in a world distinct in 
its arid vastness and the essential uniformity of religion and culture 
of its inhabitants. The land of the camel is still the land of scimitars 
and tambourines, mosques and muezzins, and domes and minarets/ 7 
Only, the writer does not appear to appreciate the incongruity of 
argument based on the camel and such-like things for separation of 
the north-western region which has its camels in common with 
Arabia no less than with another part of India like Rajputana which 
is not ' the land of scimitars and tambourines, mosques and muez- 
zins and domes and minarets '. If this argument were to prevail, 
there should be no ground for the 'separsftion of the eastern zone 
which is tropical in its fauna and flora, its green fields and prolong- 
ed and terrific monsoon. Nor should there be any Muslims in the 
other tropical countries like the Malaya Peninsula. 

The weakness of the argument in favour of a north-western 
Pakistan based on the topographical diversity and such-like things 
has not been missed by Mr F. K. Khan Durrani who in his bbok 
The Meaning of Pakistan holds that ' All Muslims, whether they live in 
Pakistan or Hindustan, constitute one nation, and we of Pakistan 
must always treat our co-religionists in Hindustan as flesh of our 
flesh and blood of our blood/ 8 

Dealing with the argument of El. Hamza he writes : ' The 
author of Pakistan- -A Nation bases his whole argument on the geo- 
graphical peculiarities that distinguish the north-western provinces, 
the Punjab, Kashmir, the N.-W.F.P., Sind and Baluchistan, from 
the rest of India. Some provinces get heavier rains than do the 
others. The staple food of some provinces is wheat ; of others rice. 
Vegetation in the lands of the monsoon is rank and lush ; in others 
it is scanty. The flora and fauna of the provinces differ consi- 
derably. The dry lands of the ^orth-West are the natural home of 
the camel, while the wet lands of the South and Assam and Bengal 
produce the unwieldy elephant. The dry lands of the North-Wejt 
have given birth to a racial type which in many respects is different 
from the softer and darker types met with elsewhere. In a large 
country like India, inhabited as it is by peoples of many races, 
enclosed within many degrees of latitude and longitude, and expos- 
ed to a variety of influences of sea, mountain and desert, such diver- 

7, Hamza, op. tit, p. '72. 

a F. K. Khan Durrani; "The Meaning of PUdstan", p. viii. 


sities of peoples and produce are natural and unavoidable, and to 
the politics of Muslim India they are wholly irrelevant ; for were 
we to follow this line of argument, we of the North- West will have 
of necessity to wash our hands of the larger portion of the Muslim 
population of India who live in lands other than those of Pakistan, 
dress differently and eat food which is not exactly the same as ours. 
t We would have to treat them as aliens, with whom we can have no 
community of life or interests, a proposition which no Muslim of 
Pakistan would care to maintain even for a minute, which in fact 
every Muslim of the Punjab would dismiss forthwith as un- 
thinkabfc.' 9 

To prote the thesis others notably Dr B. R. Ambedkar in his 
book Thoughts^ on Pakistan have taken pains to collect together 
passages from books on history to show how Muslim invaders and 
rulers of India desecrated and destroyed thousands of Hindu 
temples and broke into pieces images installed in them and convert- 
ed them into mosques or removed their building materials like posts 
and pillars to be used in the construction of Muslim mosques in 
other places ; how they offered to Hindus who came under jtheir 
sway the alternative of the sword or the Quran and how thousands 
of Hindus were tortured or slaughtered on their refusal to accept 
the Muslim faith. The inference that is drawn is that the Hindus 
have not forgotten and cannot forget these atrocities and they have 
indelible marks burnt on their memory ^hich cannot be obliterated. 
It is further asserted that Hindu-Muslim riots due to some minor 
cause such as music before a mosque or the sacrifice of a cow 
give further point to the argument that the old hostility persists, 
and common subjection to the British, and a strong rule by the 
latter have not succeeded in bringing about a reconciliation between 
the two communities. 

Now, it is somewhat difficult to understand this line of argu- 
ment for carving out portions of India to be placed under Muslim 
rule, which after all, is the subject of those who advocate such divi- 
sion of India into Hindu and Muslim Zones. 

Is it suggested that Islam sanctioned and encouraged those 
acts of sacrilege and vandalism sacrilege from the point of view of 
the non-Muslim and vandalism from the point of view of art ? If 
it sanctioned and justified those acts, then can it be said that it has 
Cfased to sanction and encourage such acts ? What evidence is 
"there that there has been a change in the attitude of Islam in these 
respects ? If they were acts of barbarity done by ambitious men 
professing Islam who took cover under Islam in pursuit of their aim 
which had nothing to do with the faith of the Prophet of Arabia, 
what chance or expectation is there that people professing Islam 
will not arise in the future with similar ambitions and will not 

9. Durrani, op. cit., pp, 1-2. 


utilize the power that they will enjoy in the same way ? Is it sug- 
gested that Muslim rule should be established in the segregated 
portions so that the same atrocities may be committed and per- 
petuated on those non-Muslims who may have the misfortune to 
be left there ? If that is so, then none should expect a non-Muslim 
to be a party to any such scheme. 

If all that is not the teaching of Islam and is in fact opposed to 
its fundamental tenets of peace and tolerance, is it desirable to rake 
up old history and place those instances before the Muslims and 
non-Muslims today? Can it be done without reviving bitter memo- 
ries which had better be forgotten for the good of all for* 'the sake 
of Muslims as a shameful chapter in the history of MuSalmans who 
defiled their faith by such acts in the name of Islam when it did not 
sanction or justify them and when they committed then* for their 
own aggrandizement and not for the propagation of Islam which 
depended and depends upon purer and nobler methods for its propa- 
gation ; and for the sake of non-Muslims so that the nightmare of 
a religion which can perpetrate such atrocities for its propagation 
may be lifted and the era of goodwill and reconciliation may 
continue and prosper ? 

If what is sought to be made out by such quotations is even 
partially accepted by Muslims and non-Muslims as a part of Muslim 
rule, then Muslims have to acquire the right to perpetrate and per- 
petuate them by the same methods by which those who perpetrated 
them in the past acquired the power to do so. The same sources 
which furnish these instances and quotations will'also show that the 
Muslims of those days never got that right or power by agreement 
or consent of their non-Muslim contemporaries. If the passage 
of centuries and all that has happened in the world during these 
centuries and world conditions of today have not brought about 
any change in the attitude of Muslims of India towards the non- 
Muslims of India and vice versa, why should it be expected that the 
non-Muslims should change in this one respect and agree to the 
perpetration of wrongs and atrocities, which are condemned by all 
civilized persons all the world over, including the Muslims of 
India ? Either such acts are a part of Islamic law and faith or they 
are not. If they are, no non-Muslim can agree to anything which 
gives the least opening for their repetition by the establishment of 
an ' ideal Islamic state with the ultimate ideal of a world revolution 
on purely Islamic lines ' 10 an Islamic state which on the assump- 
tions made above is exhypothesi out to repeat its history as disclosed 
in such quotations. If they are not, no useful purpose is served by 
reviving their memory. They can only further exacerbate the feel- 
ings of non-Muslims, and whether one approves of a division or 
not, further exacerbation of feelings can hardly be the object of 

10. 'A Punjabi'', op. oft., pp. 269-270. , 


any one. If it is intended to show that Hindus and Muslims cannot 
on account of such dealings in the past agree to live together and 
must therefore agree to separate, it is worth while remembering 
that just the opposite effect may be produced. The Hindus may not 
agree for this very reason to leave millions of their co-religionists 
in the Muslim area for a repetition of the same deeds against 
them. Such citations and quotations have thus no value or use in 
considering the question in a practical way. 

Now, the object or utility of such quotations apart, it does not 
require much industry or acumen to cull together such passages 
from dr^-as-dust books written in the distant past or modern times. 
Books on history until recently dealt commonly and very largely 
only with kings and conquerors, their doings and misdoings, their 
wars and-, victories, the magnificence of their courts and the in- 
trigues of their palaces. Not much attention was paid by the 
writers of these books to the common man who was content to lead 
his hum-drum life in a quiet and peaceful manner, earning his liveli- 
hood by the sweat of his* brow* either in the field with his plough 
and spade, or in his home with his spinning wheel and loom orjidze 
and chisel or sickle and hammer or needle and> thread, and a host of 
other instruments used in cottages in small industries. The lives 
and doings of priests and pious men, of savants and sages, of learn- 
ed men and social reformers, poets and philosophers, painters and 
musicians have not been given the importance they deserve in the 
life history of a people. The writers of such books have been not a 
little influenced by a false notion that the religious zeal of a Muslim 
king or conqueror could be proved only by such deeds against Kafirs 
and they owed a duty to these kings and conquerors whose cour- 
tiers they used to be in most cases and to Islam, to record such 
incidents with circumstantial details to serve as examples to other 
rulers to follow and to the conquered people to be frightened by. 
One need not discount the incidents that are related as exaggerated 
or false* Only, one must remember that such incidents were not 
the only incidents Worth recording ; and if an equally detailed 
account of other incidents showing how Hindus and Muslims lived 
together sharing one anothers' sorrows and joys for hundreds of 
years, how the Saints and Sadhus of each influenced and moulded 
the customs and rites, the lives and c environment of the other, how 
tip* rites and festivities observed in many Muslim houses in con- 
nexion with births and .marriages tally with those observed in 
Hindu homes, how the same rites and customs differ among Mus- 
lims living in different Provinces of India as much as they differ 
among the Hindus, how it was Muslim saints to whom the credit 
for conversion of large numbers of Hindus should go more than to 
the fire and sword of the Muslim conquerors and kings, the 
space occupied by such accounts would be infin?>ely more than that 


taken up by the accounts of the oppression and tyranny of the 
Muslim kings and conquerors. The number of pages taken in writ- 
ing such a history would bear the same proportion to the pages 
occupied by the books from which quotations are made and on 
which textbooks on history are based, as the common people of the 
country bear to the number of kings and their courtiers, their 
generals and governors, their harems and their palaces. It bears 
the same proportion as the days of peaceful life and deeds of good- 
will and charity, fellow-feeling and tolerance bear to those of strife 
and conflict, of riots and hooliganism, of murder, arson ami loot 
committed by members of the one community against those of the 
other. And yet even today the space occupied in 'newspapers by 
the latter is out of all proportion as compared with that of the 
former; and if one were to write a history after 500 years, based on 
such newspaper reports or to quote only these reports, one could 
easily prove on their basis that there was hardly a day of peace in 
India even during the prevalence of the Pax Britannica. For com- 
parative lack of appropriate material it is, therefore, not easy to 
write a complete and comprehensive book dealing with social and 
cultural movements, their deep and abiding effects on -the life, and 
their intangible and invisible moulding of the make-up of the people 


Since the demand for the establishment of separate and inde- 
pendent Muslim States in the North- West and East of India is 
based on the theory that Muslims constitute a separate nation 
separate from the Hindus and all others who inhabit the geogra- 
phical entity w? call India, it is necessary to understand clearly 
what is meant by a nation. The fact of geographical unity of India 
cannot be denied, for the simple reason that geography cannot be 
altered by man. Indeed Mr F. K. Khan Durrani says distinctly : 
4 1 agree on the contrary, with Dr Beni Prasad, that " there is no 
country marked out by the sea and the mountains so clearly to be 
a single whole as India." From thfe Sulema'n Range to the hills of 
Assam and from the Himalayas to the sea, in spite of all its variety 
of races, climes and topographical details, India is one geographical 
unity/ 1 ^ \ 

What then is a nation ? What constitutes a nation,? Tile 
question has been posed and answered by the supporters of the 
scheme for partition, and learned authors have been quoted in sup- 
port of the answer given. Mr Durrani who has dealt with the point 
at great length comes to some conclusions which it is worth while 

1. F. K. KJun Durrani: " The Meaning of Pakistan ", p. ? 


recording : '(i) Though geographically India is one unity, its 
people are not, and in the making of states and nations it is the 
people that count and not geography. . . . The living spirit of man 
cannot be enslaved, in the words of Renan, " by the course of rivers 
or the direction of mountain ranges ". " The land ", says Renan, 
" provides a substratum, the field of battle and work ; man provides 
the soul : man is everything in the formation of that sacred thing 
which is called a people. Nothing of material nature suffices for it. 11 
'. . . (2) In fact, race too, like geography is not a determining factor 
either <for or against the formation of nations . . . (3) Hindu leaders 
have been\oropagating the idea for two decades that religion should 
not be mixed with politics, and that a united nation should be form- 
ed on the basis of politics alone. Now is it possible to create a nation 
on the basis of politics alone ? Political philosophers think that 
purely political ties do not suffice to create a nation. 52 He quotes 
Lord Bryce and Prof. Sidgwick in support of his thesis. Sidgwick 
writes : ' A political society is in an unsatisfactory and compara- 
tively unstable condition when its members have no consciousness 
of any bond of unity among them except their obedience to the 
same government. Such a society is lacking in the cohesive fofce 
required to resist the disorganizing shocks and jars which foreign 
wars and discontents are likely to cause from time to time. Accord- 
ingly, we recognise that it is desirable that the members of a state 
should be united by the further bonds vaguely implied in the term 
" Nation ".'* Further, Sidgwick writes : <r What is really essential 
to the modern conception of a state which is also a Nation is merely 
that the persons composing it should have, generally speaking, a 
consciousness of belonging to one another, of being taiembers of 
one body, over and above what they derive from the fact of being 
under one government, so that, if their government were destroyed 
by war or revolution, they would still tend to holdifirmiy together. 
When they have this consciousness, we regard them as forming a 
" Nation ", whatever else they lack/ 4 Again, Lord Bryce defines 
nationality as ' an aggregate of men drawn together and linked to- 
gether by certain sentiments ', and says : ' The chief among these 
are Racial sentiment and Religious sentiment, but there is also that 
sense of community \frhich is 'created by the use of a common 
language, the possession of a common literature, the recollection 
of common achievements or sufferings in the past, the existence of 
cottf/mon customs and habits of thought, common ideals and aspira- 
ti$hs. ( Sometimes all these finking sentiments are present and hold 
the members of the aggregate together ; sometimes one or more 
may be absent. The more of these links that exist in any given 
case, the stronger is the sentiment of unity. In each case, the test 
is not merely how many links there are, but how strong each parti- 

2. Durrani, op. cit, pp L 4-6. 3. ibid., p. 7. 4. ibid., p. 9. 


cular link is.' 5 After quoting some others Mr Durrani comes to the 
conclusion that ' nationality is in fact a matter of consciousness 
only, a mere psychological condition/ 6 and in this he is supported 
by Dr Ambedkar whom he quotes : ' It is a feeling of conscious- 
ness of a kind which on the one hand binds together those who have 
it so strongly that it overrides all differences arising out of economic 
conflicts or social gradations, and, on the other severs them from 
those who are not of their kind/ 7 

The final conclusion of Mr Durrani, therefore, is : ' (4) There 
is absolutely no group-consciousness or consciousness of kind be- 
tween the Hindus and the Muslims. They cannot sit together at 
the same dining table ; they cannot intermarry. The food of one is 
abomination to the other. The Hindu gets even polluted by the 
Musalman's touch. There are no social contacts between them to 
make possible the birth of a common group-consciousness. It is, 
indeed, psychologically impossible for the two groups to combine 
to form a single united whole.' 8 

Now this conception of nationality^ comparatively speaking a 
modern and recent conception which has been developed during the 
last two or at the most three centuries or so. While the elements*' 
mentioned by Lord Bryce or Prof. Sidgwick are found more or less 
in all these groups which are regarded as constituting a nation, it is 
not correct to take each item by itself and see whether, and to what 
extent, it is present in any particular group and determine there- 
from whether that particular group can be called a nation. It is 
the resultant of the totality of these various. elements acting and 
reacting upon one another, and the historical setting in which they 
have so acted and reacted that determines nationality. As Stalin 
has pointed out, ' a nation is primarily a community, a definite com- 
munity of people ' which is not necessarily ' racial or tribal '. It is 
not also a casual or ephemeral conglomeration ' but a stable com- 
munity of people '. A common language is one of the characteristic 
features of a nation. And so is also a common territory another 
characteristic feature of a nation. Community of economic life 
economic cohesion is one more characteristic feature. Apart from 
these a nation has its own specific spiritual complexion, its own 
psychological make-up or what" is otherwise called national 
character which manifesto itself in a distinctive culture. 'A 
nation ' according to Stalin ' is a historically evolved, stable com- 
munity of language, territory, economic life, and psychological 
make-up manifested in a community of culture.' 

We must also draw a distinction between a State and a Nation: 
They are not always conterminous and we have had in tire past and 
have got in the present living examples of multinational States or 

5. Durrani, op. cit, p. 8. 6. ibid., p. 11. 7. ibid., p. 12. 8. ibid., p. 13. 
9. J. Stalin*: ''Marxism and the Question of Nationalities*, p. 6. 


States comprising more than one nation. Thus the English' and the 
French in Canada, although belonging to two different national 
groups, constitute one State. The English and the Boers of South 
Africa, after a bloody war, by agreement constituted one State. In 
the United States of America, people belonging to many nationali- 
ties have settled down as members of one State. The Soviet Re- 
public of Russia comprises many nationalities which enjoy admini- 
strative autonomy and have the right to secede from the Union 
guaranteed by the Constitution. The administrative autonomy of 
the constituent Republics now extends as far as the maintenance of 
their own armed forces and the right to enter into direct relations 
with foreign States, conclude agreements with them, and exchange 
diplomatic and consular representatives. The Swiss furnish the 
classical illustration of peoples bearing national affinity to three 
nations by whom they are surrounded, viz. the French, the German 
and the Italian, and yet constituting one single State. ' It is more 
accurate to say that the word nationality can refer to either one of 
two sentiments ', says G, A. Macartney, 10 ' which in their origin and 
their essence are absolutely'distinct, although in practice the one 
rommonly identifies itself with the other. It is unfortunate that the 
accident of historical development in England has tended to make 
them in fact almost identical in that country, and the English 
language, reflecting the slovenly realism of its users, makes do with 
one term for the two. Nevertheless, nationality meaning the feeling 
of appurtenance to a nation, is fundamentally different from nationa- 
lity in the sense of membership of a State. They spring from 
different causes ; and it is perfectly possible for them to be directed 
towards different objects. 

' The former, which may for convenience be called the sense of 
personal nationality, is founded on characteristics which are per- 
sonal, often inherited, and usually objective. These chaiacteristics 
exist in the individual quite independently of the locality in which 
he may be domiciled, whether the majority of the inhabitants shdre 
them or no, and independently of the political regime under which 
he may live, whether this be in the hands of persons possessing the 
same characteristics or no. The body of persons possessing these 
) characteristics constitutes the nation.' 11 The characteristics on 
which this consciousness is based vary greatly, but broadly speak- 
ing, they are covered by the trinity of the Minority Treaties: race, 
lanfrlage and religion. ' In themselves, it must be repeated, they are 
absolutely devoid of political significance. A German of Austria, 
Czechoslovakia, Brazil, or Honolulu is every bit as much a German 
as is a citizen of Berlin. 

' Entirely different in its basis and true purpose is the State, 

10. C. A. Macartney: "National States and National Minorities". 

11. ibid, p. 6. 


The State is the organ by means of which the common affairs of a 
number of people are administered and (usually) protected ; the 
people who collectively compose the State being, unfortunately, 
known in England by the same name " nation " as is also applied to 
the quite different natural unit discussed above. The extent to 
which their affairs are regarded as being of common concern, and 
thus falling within the competence of the State to regulate, varies 
enormously, not only from age to age but also from country to 
country. In some cases it goes hardly beyond defence; in others it 
covers most aspects of life beyond purely private relationships. It 
is, however, worth remarking that those cultural attiibutes which 
go to make up the idea of personal nationality ate among the very 
last to which most States have turned their attention and that even 
today they are largely considered as being no matter, for State con- 
trol . . . On the other hand, most of the duties performed by the 
State are entirely unrelated to questions of personal nationality. 
The defence of the common home, the maintenance of public order, 
the prevention and punishment of cijimeVthe construction of com- 
munications, the preservation of the public wealth, the equal impo- 
sition and collection of taxes, are matters of equal concern to every 
inhabitant of the State, whether he acknowledges Christ or Maho- 
met, whether his mother-tongue be English, Welsh or Yiddish. All 
must contribute towards these political and social activities which 
are the true functions of the State, and all alike benefit from them/ 12 

Thus while personal nationality is an important factor in the 
formation of a State, it is not always the sole or even the dominant 
factor. On the other hand, while it may be conceded that purely 
political ties do not suffice to create a nation, it cannot be denied 
that they do constitute an important factor. If a group is subject 
to external pressure, then that ' pressure from without ', in the 
words of Julian Huxley, ' is probably the largest single factor in 
the process of national evolution/ So it has happened in India 
but of this later. 

The question of National States has been subjected to intensive 
study since the end of the first World War and much literature has 
grown round it. This study has been pursued after the publication 
in 1934 of C. A. Macartney's authoritative book from which I have 
quoted at length in the preceding pages. The result of all this study 
has been to confirm the conclusions he arrived at, namely.^ that a 
distinction should be made between, personal nationality and poli- 
tical nationality, that a State need not be conterminoas with a 
nationality, that in fact the attempt to establish national States has 
ended in failure and created new problems, that the experience of 
national States and their treatment of national minorities within 
them has not been happy or encouraging, that the guarantee even of 

12. Macartney, op. cii, pp. 11-12. 


the League of Nations for enforcing the Minority Treaties against 
national States has proved, in many cases, ineffective and futile, 
that the solution of the question of minorities does not lie in the 
direction of establishing national States which is impossible of 
attainment on account of the impossibility of getting a completely 
homogeneous State eliminating all heterogeneous minorities and 
that the solution should be sought in a multinational State which 
allows freedom for all national minorities to develop their special 
personal nationality. 

Friedmann points out that nationalism and the modern State 
are ' two for6?s neither identical nor necessarily parallel or allied V 8 
His conclusion is *:" What this brief survey has attempted to demon- 
strate is the inherent self-contradiction of the ideal of the sovereign 
State based on national self-determination, and the impossibility of 
a satisfactory solution as long as the sovereign national state re- 
mains the ultimate standard of value. It seems that all serious 
students of the problem agree on this point. After a searching study 
of the problem, Macarttfey cpmmends, on the basis of the expe- 
rience of Soviet Russia and Great Britain, the multinational State.' 14 
He quotes with approval from The Future of Natiors by Prof. Carr, 
p. 49 : ' The existence of a more or less homogeneous racial or lin- 
guistic group bound together by a common tradition and the culti- 
vation of a common culture must cease to provide a prima facie case 
for the setting up or maintenance of an independent political unit," 15 
and from Europe, Russia and the Future by D.*H. Cole, p. 14 : ( But 
nationalities can no longer in this twentieth century provide a basis 
for the State/ 16 

His further conclusion is that the national State, particularly 
if it happens to be a small State, is impossible under the present 
technical and mechanical development in the world. ]> is impossible 
for such a State to defend itself against aggression, even if it be 
able to provide more or less adequately for the necessities of life 
within its borders. ' But modern defence implies much more than 
that. It implies the comprehensiveness of resources and reserves 
in men and materials, which has greatly accentuated the inequality 
between big powers and small national States/ 17 He summarizes 
his conclusion thus : ' The analysis has revealed that the predo- 
minant trend of the political, economic ^nd social forces of today 
leads ^way from the national State . . . The alliance between Na- 
tion^lsm and the State reaches a crisis when both Nationalism and 

the modern State begin to overreach themselves An alternative 

solution of the dilemma of national self-determination is the 

13. W. Fricdmann : "The Crisis of the National State" (1943), p. 9. 

14. ibid., p. 40. 

15. ibid., p. 133. 

16. ibid., p. 9. 

17. ibid., p, 140. 


national State in which' a powerful political union guarantees 
cultural autonomy to different national groups, but demands the 
sacrifice of political, military and economic sovereignty/ 18 ^ 

Mr A. Cobban's study on National Self-determination was 
issued in 1945 under the auspices of the Royal Institute of Inter- 
national Affairs. His conclusions are the same as those of Macart- 
ney and Friedmann quoted above, as the following extract^from his 
book will show : * The nation as a political unit, or State, is a utili- 
tarian organization, framed by political ingenuity for the, achieve- 
ment of political, with which may be included economic* ends. \ Poli- 
tics is the realm of expediency, and the measure of its 'success is the 
degree to which the material bases of the good life law and order, 
peace and economic welfare are realized. The nation as a cultural 
conception, on the contrary, is normally regarded ai a good thing 
in itself, a basic fact, an inescapable datum of human life. It belongs 
to the realm of the activity of the human spirit, its achievements 
are in the field of art and literature, philosophy and religion. . . . 
The distinctness of the ends proposed for the two developments 
which both, unfortunately, are described by the same word natioji, 
is fundamental. That this is not merely a theoretical differentia- 
tion can easily be f hown.' 19 He cites the example of the French and 
British Canadians having a common political nationality without 
abandoning- their personal nationality and of the various States of 
Spanish America having the same cultural background but divided 
into a number of separate political states. * Many other illustrations 
of the failure of cultural and political nationality to coincide might 
be found, and where the attempt has been made in modern times, to 
force them both into the same mould, the result has usually been 
disaster/ 20 - 

He further points out that nationality as a criterion of state- 
hood furnishes only a variable standard inasmuch as nationality 
v,aries Jrom period to period, from country to country and even 
from individual to individual. It also implies homogeneity in the 
population of the State which is patentfy not true, as the world 
cannot be divided into homogeneous divisions of the human race. 
His final conclusion is : ' In the Old World where a tabula rasa can- 
not be made of the pre-existing complex of cultural nations and 
political states, there is an evident necessity of abandoning the be- 
lief that the Nation-State is the one and only model, for a Vound 
political community. The multinational State must re-enter the 
political canon from which, as Acton many years ago declared,. it 
should never have been expelled . . . The history of the recent past, 
as well as of the last century is far from teaching the necessary 

18. Friedmann, op. cit., pp. 163-4. 

19. A. Cojb^an: "National Self-determination", p. 60. , 

20. ibid., p. 60. 4 j 


identity of the political state and the nation in any other sense. We 
found ourselves indeed forced to the conclusion that in most cases 
they cannot possibly be made to coincide. , . , The attempt to make 
the culturally united Nation-State the one and only basis of legiti- 
mate political organization has proved untenable in practice. It 
was never tenable in theory.' 21 

The confusion that has arisen between the two distinct entities, 
Nation and State, is due to the setting up of National Self-determi- 
nation a? an absolute dogma according to which every cultural 
group ipso fapto is entitled to claim a separate independent State for 
itself. But it cannot be denied that there can be no such absolute 
principle and that National Self-determination is just as limited as 
the freedom allowed to an individual in a society by various consi- 

1 In short/ asks Cobban, ' are there not geographical, historical, 
economic, and political considerations which rule out national self- 
determination in the fornj of the sovereign State for many of the 
smaller nationalities of the wbrld ? Even if the majority of mem- 
bers of a natiojn desire political independence, circumstances rnayt 
prohibit it, and the mere desire, of however many people, will not 
alter them. In the words of Burke " If we cry like children for the 
moon, like children we must cry on." >22 

I may add that all these considerations prohibit any partition 
of India, particularly because it is impossible to draw any boundary 
line separating the partitioned States without leaving at least as 
large a minority in the partitioned Muslim States as the Muslims 
constitute in the whole of India. The economic and military condi- 
tions of India dictate its continuance as a large political State and 
forbid its break-up into smaller independent national units. Seces- 
sion is a work of destruction and can be justified not ixS the first but 
as the last step in an extreme case when all else has failed. Even if 
that condition has been reached in India and no group except the 
Muslim League has asserted anything approaching such an extreme 
proposition separation of any particular area will not solve the 
problem as there will be no less than 200 or 300 lakhs of Muslims 
left in Hindu India and no less than 479 or 196 lakhs of non-Muslims 
left in the Muslim States according as areas with non-Muslim majo- 
rities are included in or excluded from the Muslim State as shown 
later //n. We must, therefore, think of a solution which is in 
keeping with modern thought, which does not cut across the history 
of ^centuries, which does not fly in the face of geography, which does 
not make the defence of the country infinitely more difficult if not 
impossible in the present-day conditions of the world, which does 
not place a burden on the separated States that they will not be 

21. Cobban, op. cit, pp. 62-3. 

22. ibid., p. 74. 


able to bear, which does not condemn in its result the common man 
in the new States to a life of misery and squalor for an indefinite 
period, which does not create the problem of irredentism alike in 
the Muslim and the Hindu states, and which has not been conceived 
in frenzy and does not prepare the ground for perpetual conflict. 



To prove the case for partition it is not enough to show that 
Hindus and Musalmans do not constitute a nation. .It rr/ust further 
be shown that the Musalmans constitute a nation and need a sepa- 
rate State. Mr Durrani is explicit in his views : The ancient 
Hindus were not a nation. They were only a people, a mere herd. 

' The Muslims of India were none better. Islam, indeed, be- 
came a state in the lifetime of its Founder himself. It has a well- 
defined political philosophy : I should say Islam is a political philo- 
sophy I do not at all mean tha't the 1'slamic State is a theocracy. 

. . . The Islamic State is a democracy, for whose maintenance every 
individual Muslim is responsible. La Islam ilia be Jamaet-hu " There 
is no Islam without an organized society/ 5 says Omar the Great. 
Unfortunately, the Islamic State did not endure long enough. 
The Omayyc*ds and the Abbasids destroyed it and turned it into 
mulk or autocratic, despotic, hereditary monarchy. ... It was under 
these two autocracies that two more elements entered into the 
Muslim society to vitiate and corrupt its political life, namely, 
theology and Sufism. . . . These two things combined to pervert the 
Muslim's conscience and changed Islam from an ethico-political 
philosophy into a sort of " religion ", a something which political 
slogan-mongers ball private relation between the individual and his 
God. ... At the time the Muslims conquered India the divorce of 
religion and politics had become the accepted creed of the Muslims 
throughout the world. The men who conquered India were not the 
national army of a Muslim State but paid mercenaries of an impe- 
rial despot. The State they established in India was not a national 
Muslim State, but held, maintained and exploited in the interests of 
an autocrat and his satellite. 6 ,. The Muslim Empire in India was 
Muslim only in the sense that the man who wore the crown pro- 
fessed to be a Muslim. Through the whole length of their ruux in 
India Muslims never developed the senSe of nationhood. . . ^ So ifc* 
had two peoples, Hindus and Muslims, living side by side in equal, 
servitude to an imperial despotism, and both devoid of any national 
feeling or national ambition. 

' Much has been written on the irreconcilability of the religious 
conceptions, beliefs and practices of the Hindus and Muslims. . . . 
Yet, in spite of them all. there Is something in their respective 


faiths which enabled the two peoples to live amicably together for 
many centuries, and which, if what they have learnt and suffered 
under British Rule could be washed out of their minds and the same 
old religious mentality could be recreated in them which inspired 
their fore-fathers of a century ago, would enable them again to live 
amicably together as good neighbours and citizens of the same 
State. That something is the spirit of tolerance inculcated in both 
religions. ... If these relations between the two communities had 
continued uninterrupted, in due time a nation, united in mind and 
soul, would have been born on the soil of India, Can those days 
ever possibly come back ? n 

' So, in spite of their centuries of close association and sympa- 
thetic intercourse the Hindus and the Muslims remained separate. 
The two streams could not mix. They were two nationalities, so 
utterly different indeed that if at any time the sentiment, which the 
political philosopher calls national consciousness, were to awaken 
in them and become dynamic, they could not but react differently ; 
they could not but grow into two separate nations. 3^or nationalism 
or nationhood is nothing but the consciousness of separate natio- 
nality become dynamic.JThis is what has happened to the Hindus 
and the Muslims.' 2 ' Tne two peoples have become self-conscious 
nations, and not until they readjust their relations in the light of 
this new consciousness will there be any peace between them/ 8 

Mr Durrani then proceeds to inquire how this consummation 
has taken place and comes to the conclusion that, ' in a word, it 
was one of the direct results of the British policy of discrimination 
and favouring one community at the expense of the other.' 

' The nationalism of the Hindus and the Musalmans has been 
of slow growth and no definite date can be assigned as to when it 
ripened definitely. It showed itself at first in the f^rm uf economic 
rivalry, especially with respect to Government employment, which 
later turned into political rivalry and finally into national animo- 
sity/ 3 

Among the many things which helped to depress and ruin tKe 
Musalmans under the British he mentions: (i) the ruin of industry 
and commerce in Bengal; (2) the Permanent Settlement of Bengal 
by which the lower Hindu revenue collectors were made landlords 
and the higher Muslim revenue officers were thrown on the rub- 
bis Vheap and replaced by European officers ; (3) the resumption 
di rent-free grants upon which the Muslim system of education 
depended, causing its decay ; (4) with their educational system 
ruined, the Muslims could not but lose their place in Government 
services leading to a Hindu monopoly of official preferment, which 

1. F. K. Khan Durrani : " The Meaning of Pakistan ", pp. 34-44, 

2. ibid., p. 47. 

3. ibid., p. 48. 


monopoly has been maintained by low trickery and petty intrigues 
these communal inequalities in the services forming a large part 
of India's politics and contributing in no small degree to the embit- 
terment of communal relations. 

Side by side there has been a growth of aggressiveness on the 
part of the Hindus and of distrust and political rivalry between the 
two communities, particularly in Bengal and in Northern India as 
witnessed by (i) the spirit underlying the song of Bandemataram ; 
(ii) the estrangement which followed immediately after the Mutiny 
of 1857 started by the Hindus and the Muslims throwing in their 
lot with them, and which being quelled, the Hindus turned traitor 
to their erstwhile comrades in arms and became informers, the 
whole wrath of the Government thus falling upon the Muslims, 
thousands perishing in the massacres that followed the suppres- 
sion, their properties confiscated and their orphaned children hand- 
ed over to the Christian Missionaries ; (iii) the Hindu agitation 
started in 1867 by leading Hindus of Benares that Urdu which had 
grown up to be the common language should be replaced by Brij- 
bhasha and the Arabic characters by Devnagri characters with the 
result that ' for three quarters of a century the Hindus have been 
trying to unlearn Urdu and replace it by Hindi, until Mr Gandhi, 
who bespeaks the Hindu mind in such matters more faithfully than 
any other, says unashamedly that " all those words must be ex- 
punged from Hindustani, which remind the Hindus of the Muslims 
having once ruled over the country and naturally also of their 
presence in it; " * (iv) the interest of Hindus in their historical past 
which supplied the 'one very important element whose absence 
had prevented the race from becoming a nation ' although this 
interest grew out of the system of education introduced by the Bri- 
tish prescribing textbooks of history written by British civilians or 
Christian Missionaries and 'purposely so designed as to instil 
poison and create hatred and enmity in the hearts of the Hindus 
against Muslims ; ' (v) ' the anti-cow-killing movement started by 
that Mahratta fanatic Bal Gangadhar Tilak, founder of a new 
Sivaji cult ', and ' a Congress leader of the front rank '. 

' These were the various factors .which determined the policies 
of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and led him to counsel his co-religionists 
to keep aloof from the Congress, ' and in this he was not a little 
influenced by ' the attitude of the Hindu press of Bengal which 
painted the Muslims as rebels and .urged that on this account th*y 
should be kept out of Government services/ 7 

Thus from 1857 onwards the Hindus and the Muslims never 
felt as one people and ' Sir Syed Ahmad Khan warned the Govern- 
ment as well as the public that representative institutions were 
suited only to those countries which had homogeneous populations 

4. Durrani, op. cit, p. 67. 5. ibid., p. 68. 6. ibid,, p. 74. 7. ibid., p. 70. 


but that in India, whose population was extremely heterogeneous, 
parliamentary institutions could not be introduced without grave 
socio-political risks. ' 8 But when it became known that popular 
councils were going to be established in 1906 a deputation of Mus- 
lims asked for and got separate representation for the Muslim 

' Absence of separate electorates would certainly not have 
created a united homogeneous nation. It would have simply result- 
ed in the dominance of the Hindus over the Muslims/ 9 

\\lthough Hindu revivalism had preceded political awakening, 
till 1906^7 the Hindus had not developed the Gandhian ideology of 
supercommiwial nationalism and everybody was frankly a Hindu 
or Muslim, and communalism had not yet become a term of abuse, 
cird the Hindus and Musahnans could afford to deal with their 
rivals wit l h courtesy, tolerance and sympathetic understanding. 
This was reflected in both the Hindu Sabha, which was founded 
first in the Punjab in 1907 and later became an all-India organiza- 
tion, and in the All-India Muslim League which was formed in 
December 1906. 

' The Muslim policy under Sir Syed Ahm?-d Khaij's leadership, 
dictated by sheer fear of British oppression, had been one of loyalty 
and abject flattery. This policy was inherited by what is called the 
Aligarh School as a matter of tradition, though the conditions that 
inspired it had ceased to exist. no The Muslim loyalty received jolts 
from (i) Italy's invasion of Tripoli in 1911 and the British Govern- 
ment's share in it ; {ii) repeal of the Partition of Bengal in Decem- 
ber, 1911 ; (iii) the attack on Turkey by the Balkan States in the 
autumn of 1912 with the full moral support of Britain ; (iv) the 
massacre of Muslims at Cawnpore for their opposition to a road- 
building scheme ; and all this effected a fundamental change in the 
outlook of the Muslim League which declared tne attainment of 
responsible self-government as its political goal and thus brought 
it in line with the Congress. The two organizations began to hold 
their annual sessions at the same place, until in 1916 they conclud- 
ed the famous Lucknow Pact which was incorporated in the Go- 
vernment of India Act, 1919. The Pact did less than justice to the 
Muslim community but is of far-reaching importance in its impli- 
cations in that ' by that Pact the Congress acknowledged the fact 
that the Hindus and the Muslims were two separate nations, and 
th'tt while the Congress itself was the representative of the Hindus, 
tne Muslim League represented the Muslim community, ' from 
which position the Congress has now resiled, claiming to represent 
the whole of India. 11 

World War I was the outcome of an exaggerated sense of 
nationalism and only made the sentiment fiercer and inoculated 
8. Durrani, op* dt, p. 78. 9, ibid., p. 79. 10. ibid., p. 83. 11. ibi'd.,' pp. 84-5. 


with it peoples who had been hitherto free from the virus. It 
' created a passionate desire among the peoples of India to be free 
from the foreign yoke and it was this fierce passion for freedom 
that made Hindu-Muslim unity possible in 1919-22** ' But Mi- 
Gandhi and his co-workers let themselves be carried away by the 
charming spectacle of territorial nationalism/ ' The Congress 
Pandits declared that religion must not be allowed to intrude into 
politics/ and ' the Congress sought to build a united Indian nation 
on the basis of geography, politics and economics. In fact it presum- 
ed that the nation was already in existence. The presumption' was 
palpably false ; the bases were wrong and the edifice of nationalism 
which the Congress had sought to build crashed in less than three 
years. . . . The Mahatma went to jail and the show of Hindu- 
Muslim unity broke up. Swami Shraddhanand and Pandit Madan 
Mohan Malaviya came out of jails and launched an open and un- 
ashamed propaganda against the Muslims. The All-India Hindu 
Mahasabha was reorganised in 1923. . .The policy enunciated in 
1907 and 1915 of looking after (he Hintfu interests without pre- 
judice to the interests of other communities was thenceforward 
abandoned and a n^w ideology was evolved, namely, that India 
was the Holy Land o* the Hindus, that the Hindus were a nation 
in their own right in which Muslims, Christians and Parsis had no 
place, and that the political goal of the Hindus was Hindu Raj.' 13 
In 1925 a piece of Hindu writing called Mere Vichar by the 
late Lala Hardyal which he called his political testament reached 
India and was published throughout the country by the Hindu 
Press. Mr Durrani quotes some passages from it on the authority 
of Mr Indra Prakash who has quoted them in his book Where We 
Differ and of Dr Ambedkar who quotes them in his Thoughts on 
Pakistan. I may j\ist summarize them in the words of the original. 
The State should belong to the Hindus and the Mohammedans 
may live there. But the State cannot be a Muslim State nor can 
it be a jointly Hindu-Muslim administered State ... To attain 
Swaraj we [Hindus] do not need the Muslim assistance nor 

is it our desire to establish a Joint Rule The future of 

the Hindu race of Hindustan and the Punjatf rests on these four 
pillars : (i) Hindu Sanghattan, (ii) Hindu Raj, (iii) Shuddhi of 
Muslims, and (iv) the Conquest and Shuddhi of Afghanistan and 
the frontiers. 14 This has been the ideology that has governed the 
policy of the Hindu Mahasabha from 1923 to this day and in su>- 
port Mr Durrani quotes at great length from the statements of 
Mr Savarkar as saying that ' India cannot be assumed today to 
be a Unitarian and homogeneous nation ; but on the contrary, there 

12. Durrani, op. cit., p. 90. 13. ibid., pp. 91-3. 

14. Speech of Mr V. D. Savarkar at the Ahmedabad Session of the Hindu Mahasabha 
in 1937, quoted in Durrani, op. cit, p. 102. 


are two nations in the main, the Hindus and the Muslims in India. 5 
Mr Durrani proceeds : ' Mr Savarkar's thesis is wholly in accord 
with facts of history and with political theory, and it is not possi- 
ble to quarrel with it. The quarrel arises when he becomes incon- 
sistent with his own thesis. The political scientist will say that 
when two communities have developed the consciousness of being 
separate nations, as the Hindus and the Muslims have in this 
country, it is time that in order to avoid inner tensions, civil wars 
and the like, they parted company and established separate national 
Governments of their own. That is also the contention of the All- 
India Mtislim League. Mr Savarkar, however, having once repu- 
diated the territorial basis of nationhood with considerable acumen, 
falls back on the geographical motif and claims the whole of India 
as a heritage of the Hindu nation by calling it the Holy Land of 
the Hindus. He therefore visualises a single government for the 
whole of India dominated by the Hindus in which the Muslims will 
have a subordinate and subservient position. In other words the 
Hindus will be the ruling race ; the Muslims a subject people/ 15 

The Indian National Congress is in no better position. ' The 
birth of the Congress was a culmination of H ; ndu revivalist move- 
ment. In fact, it marked the birth of the Hindu nation. It is true a 
few Muslims were also associated with the Congress in the earlier 
days of its history. But it never lost the character, except for a very 
brief period, of being a Hindu organisation, and bears its birth- 
mark on its face, if anything more markedly, to this day.' 16 This 
was frankly admitted by the Congress when it entered into the 
Lucknow Pact in 1916. The brief period was the period of non-co- 
operation movement under the leadership of Mr Gandhi and the 
AH Brothers. But the movement was a colossal failure and the 
Musalmans lost heavily in the process. Even during that period 
there were fissures visible under the facade of Hindu-Muslim unity. 
' Mr Gandhi has a deep insight into the workings of the Hindu 
mind. . . .He has never had the courage to flout Hindu public opi- 
nion even when he kn6w that the latter was wrong. He is too clear- 
headed to have any respect for the common Hindi! superstitions, 
such as cow-worship. But to humour the Hindu public he has had 
to declare more than once that Swaraj was not worth having if it 
did not protect the cow from slaughter/ 17 - 

After the reorganization of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 a 
.tjvee-fold programme was launched for the realization of its aim 
of establishing a Hindu Raj. Though the Muslims are in minority 
they have always enjoyed a prestige for their military prowess, and 
Hindus, in spite of their huge numbers, have been but sheep before 
them/ 18 ' The Hindu Mahasabha, when it adopted its new ideology 
in 1923, struck upon a novel plan for creating the spirit of aggres- 

15. Durrani, op. cit.,-p. 105. 16. ibid., p. 109. 17. ibid., pp. 110-111. *18. ibid., p. 113. 


siveness among the Hindus and killing the fear that the name of 
the Musalman inspired in the Hindu's breast. It started a series of 
well-planned riots through the length and breadth of the country, 
staging small battle-fields in the streets of cities where the Hindu 
could learn how to face the Muslim in the game of bloodshed .... 
So long as the Hindu retained a wholesome fear of the Musalman 
there could be no riots. The riots were the course of training by 
which the Hindus were to be militarised/ 19 Pandit Malaviya was 
the person chiefly responsible for organizing them, as a reference 
to his itineraries published in newspapers of those years will show, 
* Pandit Malaviya's visit to a town being followed a few weeks later 
by a bloody riot in the town. 19 When Mr Gandhi came out of 
jail in February 1924 he found the country in the grip of Pandit 
Malaviya's gangster politics, but had not the courage to face the 
situation. . .the Mahatma did nothing- to quench the lires and left 
the evil genius of Malaviya to direct the political life of Hindu 
India for five long years ( 1923-27). '~ The Hindus wanted to boy- 
cott the Simon Commission and desired that the boycott should 
be a united Hindu-Muslim affair. ' Accordingly, as is their wont, 
Hindu leaders met in secret and decided to call off the anti-Muslim 
campaign of terrorisation and the riots came to an abrupt end/ 21 
' Mr Gandhi kept mum and did not raise his little finger to check the 
gory drama that was being played all over India by Pandit Mala- 
viya, Lala Lajpat Rai and other Mahasabhaites, and when he did 
emerge from retirement towards the close of 1928, he did so not as an 
all-India leader of both the Hindus and the Muslims as he had been 
before his incarceration and retirement but as a leader of the Hindu 
community alone. With the Mahatma's conversion to the Mala- 
viyan ideology of Hindu nationalism and Hindu Raj, Pandit Mala- 
viya himself left the stage and gradually sank back into private 
life. Since then Mr Gandhi has been a leader of the Hindu commu- 
nity only, which he has confessed on several occasions and the 
Congress has been in its policies and almost completely in its mem- 
bership a purely Hindu national organisation/ 22 There is exchange 
of workers between the Mahasabha and the Congress. The A.I.C.C. 
threw out a resolution at Bombay in 1938 which would have pre- 
vented members of the Congress becoming members of the Maha- 
sabha and vice versa ' though the ban against the Muslim League 
remained strictly in force'. 28 ' From 1924 to 1928 was his period of 
incubation at the end of which he [Mr Gandhi] emerged as a leaclV 
of the Hindu community pure and simple/ and launched his civil 
disobedience movement from which the Muslims as a community 
held completely aloof. Before he left for the Round Table Confe- 
rence in 1931 an effort was made to bring the two communities to 

19. Durrani, op. cit, p. 114. 20. ibid., pp. 115-116. 21. ibid., p. 116. 22. ibid., p. 117. 
23. ibid* p. 118. ' 


some agreement but Mr Gandhi torpedoed the effort and required 
that Muslims should come with a unanimous demand, knowing that 
the handful of so-called nationalist Muslims whom he carried in 
his pocket would not agree. 24 

' After the 1935 Constitution the Muslim League resolved to 
co-operate with the Congress in working the new constitution and 
Mr Jinnah expected in view of the sameness of the professed creeds 
of the League and the Congress that the latter would not oppose 
the League in the elections. . . But the Congress threw the gaunt- 
let, *et up candidates against the League and Pandit Jawaharlal 
Nehru, <he Congress President, replied that there were only two 
parties in the country the Congress and the British Government.' 
The Congress success was overwhelming in the 1937 elections but 
it was confined mainly to Hindu constituencies. Out of the 482 
Muslim seats the Congress ventured to contest only 58 of which it 
lost 32. On account of the success their heads got swollen beyond 
all proportions and they began to demand that the Muslim League 
should be wound up or at least should cease to function as a political 
organization. The Muslim mass contact movement was launched 
and Muslims were asked to enter. the Congress as individuals leav- 
ing their communal labels behind. The appeal was addressed to 
Muslims alone and Hindus could be members at once of the Con- 
gress and the Hindu Mahasabha. 25 The Congress refused to form 
Governments in the Provinces where it had a majority ' except on 
the condition that a guarantee were given them that the Governors 
would not exercise the special powers vested in them under the 
constitution for the protection of minorities and other special inte- 
rests/ 20 In view of impending war clouds to purchase peace the 
Government surrendered, gave the guarantee demanded by the 
Congress and betrayed the Muslims once again. The Congress on 
entering office declared firstly that it was tinder no obligation to 
take Muslims into the Cabinets. Accordingly, the Orissa Cabinet 
had no Muslim member and occasion was soon found to rid the C.P. 
Cabinet of its Muslim Minister. Secondly, the Congress declared 
that it would take Muslims into its Cabinets provided they resigned 
from their parties and signed the Congress pledge/ 27 

' But the fact stands that the Congress rule was extremely 
unjust and oppressive to the Muslims The Hindus of the pro- 
vinces in which they are in majority felt and began to behave as if 
Finclu Raj had come... The Congress ministries issued orders 
that the Congress flag should be flown on all public buildings and 

schools They ordered or permitted the singing of Bandemata- 

ram, the symbol of the restoration of Hindu sovereignty and haired 
of the Muslims, on all public occasions. Even some Assemblies in 
the Congress-governed provinces began their proceedings with the 

24. Durrani, op. cit^ p. 120. 25. ibid., pp. 123-4. 26. ibid., p. 126. 27. ibid., pp. 127*8. 


Bandemataram song/ 28 ' The campaign of mass terrorisation of 
Muslims and planned riots which Pandit Malaviya had carried on 
so vigorously in 1923-27 was revived/ the details of which may be 
found in the two volumes of the Sharif Report, Mr Fazlul Huq's 
statement and K. S. Abdul Rahman Khan's Report. 29 

The technique adopted by the Congress Governments to pro- 
tect Hindu offenders consisted of :. (i) encouraging subordinate 
officials to bring about a compromise whereby Muslims agreed to 
give up their right of cow-slaughter and apologized, and (ii) allow- 
ing the police to delay investigation so that culprits might go scot- 
free in the absence of evidence. Magistrates were transferred and 
punitive police posted in Muslim quarters. 

Mr Durrani then proceeds to quote at great length from the 
judgement of the High Court acquitting the accused in the Chan- 
dur Biswa case in which some Muslims had been sentenced to death 
and some to transportation for life for the murder of a Hindu. The 
Sessio'ns Judge by the by was an Englishman. Mr Durrani's com- 
ment is : ' Had the Premier of the C. P. some sense of shame, he 
would have committed suicide or at least retired from public life 
for good. Mr Yusuf Sharif was dismissed for releasing* a prisoner 
who had served almost the whole of his sentence. But the Congress 
did not call Pandit Shukla [the Premier] to account for this abo- 
minable conspiracy against the lives of citizens. . . . Mr Gandhi, the 
Congress dictator and Pandit Shukla's patron, is eternally chat- 
tering about truth and non-violence and his inner voice. I am sure 
God Almighty never speaks to such hypocrites and Mr Gandhi's 
inner voice must be somebody else's. In any case with such in- 
stances of justice and good government before them, the Muslims 
of India can never agree to being put in a position of subjection to 
the Hindus/ 30 

He goes on to recount further the atrocities of the Congress 
Governments : 'The Muslims were forbidden at places to call the 
" Azan " or kill cows for their food. Their mosques and graveyards 
were desecrated without hope of redress. Bat the most subtle and 
thoroughgoing plan to cle-Muslimise the Muslims, to destroy their 
cultural and social unity. . .was the Wardha. scheme of education 
which was to be imposed compulsbrily upon all alike under the 
future Congress Government of India and a foretaste of which was 
administered in the C.P. in the shape of the Viclya Mandir 
Scheme.' 81 After all this the resignation of the Congres's Govern- 
ments naturally came as a great relief to the Muslims. Then follow- 
ed the individual civil disobedience movement and the Cripps offer 
the terms of which were generous, with only one fly in the ointment, 
viz. the provision of the possibility of the secession of Muslim India 
and the establishment of an independent Muslim State which the 

28. Durrani, op. cit, pp. 129-130. 29. ibid., p. 131. 30, ibid., pp. 134-5. 31. ibid., 135-6. 


Congress could not swallow. 

The ' open rebellion ' resolution of the A.LC.C. of August 8, 
1942 ' was an open invitation to Japan, whose armies were waiting 
on the other side of the border, to cross over and occupy the coun- 
try. Viewed thus, the August resolution was an act of blackest 
treachery to India, but especially to the Muslims who have no such 
affinity with Japan as Hindus claim to have/ 52 ' For once in his long 
Viceroyalty Lord Linlithgow's Government acted promptly and 
effectively, and Mr Gandhi's melodrama was blanketed in the first 
act. % Muslim India was once again saved from the mercies of 
Hindu Raj/ 33 

' Though Islam is but an ethico-political philosophy, the Indian 
Muslims have been as a whole poor political thinkers. But the 
world in which they were placed would not leave them alone, and 
the " total*' war which the Hindus had declared against them shook 
them profoundly. In 1937 we find them shaken and amazed. In 
1938 we find signs of growing recognition among the Muslirrts that 
there was no place fop them in a common Hindu-Muslim nationa- 
lity, and towards the close of the year voices began to be audible 
all over India that there were two nations in India, that the &Ius- 
iims were a nation in their own right/ 34 and therefore*the Pakistan 
resolution of the All-India Muslim League in its Lahore Session in 
March 1940 ' was but an expression and adoption by the League 
of what had already been their political faith/ 35 If was thus in 
1938 that according to Mr Durrani the Muslims of India realized 
the consciousness of being a separate nation and set their hearts 
on Pakistan ' which has put the Muslim imagination afire. They 
see strange, undreamed of, limitless possibilities in it. They ima- 
gine Pakistan to be a state in which men shall be free from oppres- 
sion, injustice and exploitation, and free from selfish greed, covet- 
ousness, and fear of poverty. . .in which, though, c/ rather because, 
it will be an Islamic state, there will be no distinction of Muslim 
and non-Muslim among its citizens in the matter of civic rights 
and economic benefits* . . . They call it Hukumat4-Ilahi or the 
Kingdom of God which some people in their ignorance have trans- 
lated into theocracy.. But the Islamic state is not a theocracy. . . . 
The Islamic state is a democracy, whose citizens feel and have the 
right to declare " We are the state.;' J3 

I have quoted at such great length from Mr Durrani not be- 
cause I accept his statements or conclusion many of them are so 
obviously ridiculous and outrageously false but because he gives 
in a systematic manner how the two nations theory has taken shape 
and because he claims that he was one of the earliest to have pub- 
lished a definite ' thesis of the Hindus and the Muslims being not 

32. Durrani, op. cit, pp. 139-140. 33. ibid., p. 141. 34. ibid., pp. 153-4. 35. ibid., p. 157. 
36. ibid., pp. 158-9. 


merely two communities but tw r o nations, that they being two 
nations, a pact could not bring forth a single united nation out of 
them and that the natural and rational solution of the Hindu- 
Muslim problem was that one community should either absorb or 
extinguish the other community or otherwise render it harmless. 
. . . Being a member of the Muslim nation, naturally I contended 
that Muslims should strive to reconquer India for Islam and make 
that their political goal. I am still of the same mind, for I believe 
the ultimate political salvation of India lies in Islam only/* 7 


What we are more immediately concerned with is, whether, 
assuming for the sake of argument the main thesis that since 1938 
the Musalmans of India have realized the consciousness of being 
a separate nation, the creation of separate Hindu and Muslim States 
will serve the problem and place the minorities in the two kinds of 
national States in a better position. In this connexion it is profitable 
to study the history of the West and learn, if possible, a lesson 
from what has happened there in the recent past. It is well known 
that at the end of the first World War a number of new States 
were created out of the wreckage of the Central European Empires. 
An attempt v/as made as far as possible to create homogeneous 
States. In the result many nationalities which had been minorities 
before the War found themselves as majorities in the new States 
which were named after them, and members belonging to the for- 
mer majority in the old dismembered States along with others 
became minorities in the new States. As it was apprehended that 
on account of ill-treatment of minorities, the peace of the world 
might be discdrb^d, the treatment of minorities came to be regarded 
as a matter of international concern and most of the new States 
were required to enter into treaties for the protection of the mino- 
rities within them. These treaties are known as ' the Minority 
Treaties ' and the League of Nations became their guarantor. 

The object of partition is to have separate Muslim and Hindu 
States just as national States werrf created after the first World 
War in Europe so that both Muslims and Hindus may have an 
opportunity in their respective States to develop their cultural, 
spiritual, economic and political life in accordance with their otyn 
genius and shape their own future desfiny. There is no need to 
quarrel with this object if it can be attained. The Hindu and 
Muslim ^populations are so spread and intermingled with each other 
that it is impossible to have a homogeneous State of either the 
Hindus or the Muslims in any part of the country without a consi- 

37. Durrani, op. cit, p. 146. 


derable minority of the other community in it. Hindu and Muslim 
States created especially and openly on the basis of the religion of 
the majority of their inhabitants are bound to become what are 
called national states of Hindus and of Muslims ; and having been 
so created, it would be impossible for them to escape the inevitable 
psychology and philosophy that dominate a national State. In the 
words of Macartney, ' so long as the majority nations which have 
assumed command of the different States [in India it will be Mus- 
lims in the Muslim States and the Hindus in the Hindu State] 
persist in their theoretically absurd and practically unattainable 
endeavour to make of those States the exclusive instruments of 
their own national ideals and aspirations, so long will the minorities 
be placed in a position which no system of international protection 
can render tolerable/ 1 A national State and national minorities are 
incompatible. There are two ways of dealing with the problem : 
One is to get rid of the minority it may be done, either (a) by 
adjusting the boundaries of the State so as to eliminate the mino- 
rity ; or (b) by exchange of population. 2 The other is to change the 
basis of the State and make it an unnational or multinational State. 
The Hindus and Muslims are spread over the whole of India in 
such a way and have got so intermingled witn one another in the 
population of the country that it is impossible to cut out any por- 
tion and convert it into a State which will not have a considerable 
minority left. This is admitted by all and therefore ine suggestion 
is not for a purely Muslim State but for States with Hindu and 
Muslim majorities each having a minority belonging to the other 
community. Homogeneity by any division of the country is thus 

1. C. A. Macartney : " National States and National Minorities ", (1934) p. 421. 

2. Dr Ambedkar who has supported the creation of Pakistan says : ' The best solution 
of the communal problem is not to have two communities facing each other, one a majority 
and the other a minority, welded in the steel-frame of a single government' and if this cannot 
be attained by redrawing the boundaries of the provinces excluding the portions with non- 
Muslim majorities from Pakistan and by exchange of populations, then the scheme of 
Pakistan does not eradicate the evils which lie at the heart of the communal question. And 
he therefore suggests both the redrawing of the boundaries and the exchange of populations 
both of which he considers practicable so far as Pakistan is concerned. But for Hindustan, 
he too has no method of makin% it a homogeneous Hindu state without a Muslim minority of 
considerable size. He has to be content with pointing out that the Extent of the problem 
will be greatly reduced and the Hindus should find it on the whole advantageous to have 
the problem so reduced. vide Dr B. R.. Ambedkar: "Pakistan or the Partition of India", 
Chap. VI, sections 2 and 3, pp. 95-107. 

Now so far as redrawing boundaries is concerned, I have considered at length what the 
boundaries can be on a fair interpretation of the'League resolution, but Mr Jinnah at the 
time of the conversations with Mahatma Gandhi in 1944 is reported to have insisted on the 
prejent Provincial boundaries. As regards exchange of population it is enough to state that 
with boundaries suggested by Dr Ainbedkar the number of non-Muslims to be transferred 
from tht Muslim states in the North- Western and Eastern zones will be more than 61 lakhs 
and 1 crore 34 lakhs respectively. I do not know where Dr Ambedkar gets that ' exchange of 
population in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria* involved 'the transfer of some 20 million 
people from one habitat to another/ The figure of the entire population of the three states 
given by Macartney is a little over 25 millions. The minorities of all kinds in- the three states 
numbered just over 3J millions. Macartney also mentions that the Commission appointed to 
deal with exchange between Bulgaria and Greece had to deal with only 154,691 persons and 
similarly the number of persons dealt with between Greece and Turkey came to 545,551. 



Can homogeneity be attained by exchange of population ? No 
one except Dr S. A. Latif and Dr Ambedkar has suggested it. Mr 
Jinnah said in his Presidential address at the Lahore session of tht 
League in March 1940, that ' exchange of population, however, on 
the physical division of India as far as practicable will have to be 
considered/ 8 Others have considered it impracticable on account 
of the magnitude of the numbers involved and the consequent cost 
and inconvenience as also of the strong attachment to their lands 
of the inhabitants both Hindus and Muslims who will have to 
be shifted. In this connexion the experience of minorities in Europe 
may be noted : 

The voluntary exchange and compulsory exchange of popula- 
tions were both tried under the Peace Treaties. Macartney says 
that ' the genuine voluntary emigrants were thus few indeed ' and 
that ' the genuine voluntary and reciprocal emigration which the 
Convention was designed to effect never occurred at all except on 
a minute scale/ 4 There is no reason to think that the case will be 
otherwise in India. A compulsory exchange was, however, carried 
through between Greece and Turkey. Summarizing his conclusion 
Macartney says : ' Such experience as we possess of the exchange 
of population as a means of solving the minorities problem is not, 
therefore, calculated to encourage a repetition of the experiment. 
It may be argued that conditions in Turkey and the Balkans after 
the War were quite abnormal, and that neither the physical hard- 
ships nor the financial losses would recur under more settled condi- 
tions. The answer is that the method is ex hypothesi a drastic one. 
If conditions are settled and the relations between minorities and 
majorities happy, exchange is unnecessary, and an appeal for volun- 
tary exchange will meet with no result. A compulsory exchange, 
against the wilL of the individuals concerned, is admittedly a bar- 
barous act ; but experience has shown that a voluntary exchange 
simply does not take place, except under conditions which amount, 
in reality, to compulsion. It seems, therefoie, that the operation is 
inseparable from hardships ; the only question is whether these are 
to be inflicted in hot or in cold blood.' 5 

Macartney, therefore, comes * to the conclusion that 'all 
attempts to solve the minority problem by getting rid of the mino- 
rity have thus proved thoroughly discouraging. . . .It seems, there- 
fore, that states of mixed population m^ust reconcile thefnselve^ to 
the continued pressure of their minorities. . . .The troublesof our 
day arise out of the modern conception of the national state ; out 
of the identification of the political ideals of all the inhabitants of 
the state with the national-cultural ideals of the majority in it. If 

3. " Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah ", Third Edition, p. 158. 

4. Macartney, op. cit, pp. 440-1. 5. ibid., pp. 448-9. 


once this confusion between the two things which are fundamen- 
tally different can be abandoned, there is no reason why the mem- 
bers of a score of different nationalities should not live together in 
perfect harmony in the same state, and not even the smallest of 
them need suffer from the moral degradation which today attends 
the lot of the national minority. Even today there are certain states 
in Europe which have refrained from the attempt to constitute 
themselves as national states, and in which, in consequence, no 
true minority problem exists/ And he mentions the example of 
the ^oviet Union. He has cast a glance at the problem in India 
also. ' It may, however, be suggested that not only the British 
rulers in India, but also the native population of India itself, would 
lose nothing *by considering the history of the minorities struggle 
in Europe. In the Indian situation today there are two quite dis- 
tinct conflicts. There is the conflict of the native against the Eng- 
lishman, and that of the Hindu against the Mahomedan (not to 
mention the endless complications of the minor races). Since the 
English in India are ot so much a dominant, indigenous race as 
the representatives of a foreign administrative authority, the for- 
mer struggle resembles fairly closely that waged by the Magyars 
against the House of Habsburg ; and the support given to British 
rule by the Mahomedans of India recalls the alliance so often made 
between the Habsburgs and the Germans and Croats of Hungary. 
And just as the conflict between the Magyars and the "Nationali- 
ties" in Hungary did not reach its climax until the Habsburgs had 
practically abdicated their right to intervene in Hungary's internal 
affairs, so the presence of the English in India is postponing the 
true clash between the native races. As India acquires more real 
self-government, so that clash will come to resemble more closely 
sundry of the internal conflicts which have rent the states of 
Eastern Europe. . .. one may pray that those who read the history 
will have the wisdom to learn the lessons.' 7 One such lesson he has 
mentioned earlier in the book, which we in India will do well to 
bear in mind. When open conflict broke out between the Magyars 
and the Habsburgs, the Croats and almost all the other minorities 
sided with the Crown and the Magyars were overcome. Hungary 
came to be ruled from Vienna by a centralized and Germanizing 
bureaucracy giving satisfaction neither to the Magyar nor to the 
Slavonik ambition. This evoked from a witty Magyar the com- 
ment to a Croat friend that ' you have got as reward what we have 
got as punishment/ 8 

Instead, therefore, of seeking a solution of the Indian problem 
in the creation of national States of Hindus and Musalmans, in each 
of which there will remain a considerable minority of the other 
community, is it not better to allow India to continue as an un- 

6. Macartney, op. cit, p. 450. 7. ibid., pp. 480-1. 8. ibid., p. 118. 


national State that she is and has been ? The desire expressed by 
the League to have separate national States of Musalmans is not 
even 6 years old, and, as we shall see, cuts across the history of 
more than as many hundred years. The ob'ject therefore should be 
not the creation of national States but the strengthening of the 
unnational State in India, removing from it all those aspects and 
features which detract from its unnational character. 

I cannot do better than conclude this discussion with a quota- 
tion from Lord Acton (who has been quoted by the protagonists of 
the two nations theory) with which Macartney ends his book - 1 -' If 
we take the establishment of liberty for the realisation of duties to 
be the end of civil society, we must conclude that those states are 
substantially the most perfect which. . .include various distinct 
nationalities without oppressing them. Those in which no mixture 
of races has occurred are imperfect ; and those in which its efforts 
have disappeared are decrepit. A state which is incompetent to 
satisfy different races condemns itself ; a state which labours to 
neutralise, to absorb, or to expel them, destroys its own vitality ; a 
state which does not include them is destitute of the chief basis of 


We have seen much in the foregoing pages that tends to show 
that Hindus and Muslims are separate and the twain shall never 
meet. But there is another angle from which the picture can be 
viewed. Let us turn to it for a while. 

' Very many human activities, aspirations, and emotions have 
contributed, either naturally or artificially to build up the great 
synthesis that we term a " nation " ; language, religion, art, law, 
even food, gesture, table-manners, clothing, and sport all play 
their part/ says Julian Huxley. 1 Again, ' The special form of group 
sentiment that we call " nationality ", when submitted to analysis, 
thus proves to be based on something much broader but less defin- 
able than physical kinship. The occupation of a country within 
definite geographical boundaries, climatic conditions inducing a 
definite mode of life, traditions that gradually come to be shared 
in common, social institutions and organisations, common religious 
practices, even common trades or occupations these are among tlie 
innumerable factors which have contributed in greater of less 
degree to the formation of national sentiment. Of very great im- 
portance is common language, strengthened by belief in a fictitious 
" blood tie ". But among all the sentiments that nurture feelings 
of group unity, greater even than the imaginary tie of physical or 

9. Macartney, op. cit., p. 501. 1. Julian Huxley: "Race in Europe", p. 3. 


even of historic relationship, is the reaction against outside inter- 
ference. That, more than anything else, has fostered the develop- 
ment of group-consciousness. Pressure from without is probably 
the largest single factor in the process of national evolution/ 2 

Let us take some of the more important of these elements and 
see how they have influenced the Hindus and Muslims of India. 

i. Religion 

Let me begin with Religion. It is true that the Hindus and 
Musalmans of India follow different religions and that their social 
life derives from these religions. It is also true that some of the 
religious rites and customs differ very materially and to all out- 
ward appearance are irreconcilable. But in some of the most funda- 
mental things the differences among them are no greater than they 
are amoifg followers of faiths g'oing under one comprehensive 
name and who are admittedly living peacefully and amicably as 
members of one nation. The austere simplicity of the inside of a 
Muslim mosque with only prayer mats and water pots contrasts 
with the decorated images and paraphernalia of worship of tfce in- 
side of a Hindu temple no more than the inside of a Protestant or 
Presbyterian Church with nothing but seat for the worshippers 
and a pulpit for the preacher contrasts with the magnificent deco- 
ration and image and painting and candle and what not of the 
Roman Catholic Church. Even among Musalmans the orthodox 
Sunni looks upon the pomp and paraphernalia of the Moharram 
celebrations the Tazias and Taboots, the Separs and the Alams, 
the Paiks and Bahishti of the Shiyas with something akin to the 
horror with which he looks upon the procession of the image of 
Durga of the Hindus. And yet no one has claimed that the Protes- 
tants and Catholics of England do not constitute a nation or that 
the Sunnis and Shiyas are two different nations. Among the 
Hindus also there are sects that are as critical of temples and images 
and of many of the rites and ceremonies of others also called Hindus. 
Apart from outward signs and symbols, rites and ceremonies, 
forms and exercises of religion and worship, people have known 
philosophers of both faiths who have dived deep into the mysteries 
of life and death and life after death, and who have proclaimed the 
same faith in the Oneness of God, the immortality of the Soul, the 
ephemeral character of all material things, and the eternal value of 
things spiritual. The Vetfantic philosophy of the Hindus and the 
Sufisw of the Muslims, whether or not they have derived inspira- 
tion from each other or from a common source in the ultimate 
experience of the human soul in its quest after the eternal verity, 
have tended to converge towards a single point. A person learned 
in both the lores like Dr Bhagwan Das can easily cull together 
2. Huxley, op. cit, p. 15. 


parallel passages from the standard works of both religions. 

' The third foreign source of Muslim mysticism was Indian. It 
has been pointed out in an earlier chapter that India and the Persian 
Gulf had a close commercial intercourse ; with trade, undoubtedly 
ideas were exchanged. It stands to reason that if things of material 
use like Indian steel and swords, and Indian gold and precious 
stones, and if things of artistic value like the painted arch and the 
bulbous dome, reached Persia and Iraq, Indian philosophical ideas 
should have travelled there too. Many Indians held posts in the 
financial department at Basra under the early Umayyads *, the 
Caliph Muawiya is reported to have planted a colony of them in 
Syria, especially at Antioch and Hajjaj, and to have established 
them in Kashgar. The black-eyed and olive complexioned Hindus 
were brushing their shoulders against those of the Muslims in the 
cities of the Caliphate. The eastern dominions of the empire, that 
is, Khorasan, Afghanistan, Sistan and Baluchistan were Buddhist 
or Hindu before they were converted/ Balkh had a large monastery 
(Vihara] whose superintendent was known as the Bararnak. His 
descendants became the Barmakide Vizirs of the Abbaside Caliphs. 

' Then the Arab^ familiarized themselves from early times with 
Indian literature and sciences. They translated Buddhist works in 
the second century of the Hijra : for instance, Kitabal-Bud and 
Bilawhar wa Budasif, treatises on astronomy and medicine called 
Sindhind (Siddhanta) and Shushrud (Susruta) and Srak (Charaka) ; 
story books like Kalilah Damnah (Panchatantra) and Kitab Sindabad; 
ethical books of Shanaq (Chanakya) and Bidpa (Hitopadesa) ; and 
treatises on logic and military science. 

' They were exceedingly keen on informing themselves of the 
customs, manners, sciences and religions of the people with whom 
they came into contact. Al-Kindi wrote a book on Indian religions, 
Sulaiman and Masudi collected information in their travels which 
they, used in their writings. Al-Nadim, Al-Ashari, Al-Biruni Shah- 
rastani and many others devoted chapters in their books to describe 
and discuss Indian religions and philosophic systems. 

' The legend of Buddha entered into Muslim literature as the 
type of the saintly man, and Muslim hagiologists assimilated the 
stories of Ibn Adham to the Buddhist legend. Indian ascetics tra- 
velling in pairs and staying not more than two nights at one place 
were directly known to the Muslim adepts, who took from thegn 
their four-fold vows of cleanliness, purity, truth and poverty 
and the use of the rosary. What wonder then tfiat the conception 
of Nirvana, the discipline of the eight-fold path, the practice of jog 
and the acquaintance of miraculous powers were appropriated in 
Islam under the names of Tana, Tariqa or Saluk, Moraqabah and 
Karamat or Mujiza.' 3 

3. Dr Bhagwan Das quoted in TarachandV " Influence of Islam on Indian Culture 1 ', 
pp. 67-70. 


'But the man who produced the greatest stiMn the Islamic 
world by the boldness of his doctrines was Husain-bin-Mansoor Al- 

Hallaj He travelled about in many lands, among them India, 

and thrice visited Mecca. At last his activities became so obnoxious 
that he was arrested in A.D. 922.'* Kabir, Dadu, Nanak and other 
Indian saints used the language of Muslim Sufism. 

Mansoor's theories were later worked up in the systems of 
Ibn-al-Arabi and Abdul Karim Jili and in the poetry of Ibn-al-Farid 
and Abri Said Ibn Abulkhair and their influence spread to far off 
countries including India. 

' Jili was acquainted with Hindu religion, for among the ten 
principal seats he noted the Brahima (Brahman). About them he 
says that they worship God in His absolute aspect, without refe- 
rence to prophet or apostle. The scriptures of the Brahmina accord- 
ing to him were revealed to them not by God but by Abraham 
(Brahma); they contained five books, the fifth on account of its 
profundity was unknown to most of the Brahmans but those who 
read it invariably becamg Muslims. Apparently Jili's fifth book is 
the Vedanta whose monistic philosophy in the eyes of Jili m?de it 
indistinguishable from Islam/ 5 ' The Muslim mystic who sets out 
upon the path of union (wasl) of absorption (fana) always needs a 
spiritual guide, "for if a man has no teacher his Imam is Satan." 
The guide or the preceptor (Pir or Shaikh) is the priest round 
which the whole machinery of Sufi monachism moves. ...The dis- 
ciple is advised to keep his Murshid constantly in mind, to become 
eventually absorbed in him through constant meditation and con- 
templation of him, to see him in all men and in a*l things, and to 
annihilate his self in the Murshid. From this state of self-absorp- 
tion in the Murshid the master leads him on through several stages 
at last to absorption in the Deity. Muhammad taught surrender to 
God (Islam), Sufism surrender to the teacher who is the represen- 
tative of God upon earth.' 

Haji Waris AH Shah was a Sufi saint in nothern India. His 
tomb is at Dewa Shaiif in Barabanki district (U.P.). His disciples 
add ' Warisi ' to their names and are said to be most numerous. 
He has summarized the Sufi teachings in a few Persian verses 
which may be quoted here as illustrative : 

Mun hameen go-em ke pir-e-man khudast, 

Pesh-e munkir een sakhun guftan khatast ; 

Ek swalay meen kimum ai marduman, 

Pas jawab *oora dehund ai mominan 

Hezum under nar choon shud sokhta 

Rishta under jame shud choon dokhta 

Pas wara hezam bagoem ya ke nar 

Rishta ra jama bagoem ya ka tar 

4. Tarachand, op. cit, pp. 69-70, 5. ibid., pp. 77-8. 6. ibid, p. 81. 


Choon key pir-e-mun fana fillah shud 

Ruft bashriyat hama Allah shud 

Pas be paye oo kunum hardam sajood, 

Waqf kardam dar rahush jan o wajood ; 

Ashqi az jutnle alam bartar ast 

Zan ke een millat Khudai akbar ast. 
Translated as follows : 

I say Pir is my God. To say this before a munkir (non-believer) 
is a mistake. O man, I ask one question. O believers, answer it. 
When fuel gets burnt in fire, when thread gets woven into cloth, 
then should I call it fuel or fire, then should I call the thread cloth 
or thread ? So when my Pir got absorbed in God, the human being 
disappeared all became God. I therefore bow to his feet every 
moment and have dedicated my life and being to his path Love is 
superior to all the worlel inasmuch as it is the millat (bhakti) of 
God the Great. 

Hindu scripture abounds in references to the necessity of a 
Guru or preceptor who is to guide the disciple through the difficult 
and rigorous discipline he has to go through, and without such 
Guru progress is practically impossible. In fact 'the Guru is 
Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru is Maheshwar, the Guru is 
Para-Brahma Himself and to that Guru I bow ' is a common 
every-day prayer. It is the duty and ambition of every Hindu to 
have a Guru and to be initiated by him. 

' In the Pantha (way, sect) of Kabir, the Guru holds the same 
position as in any other Sufi order. If it is true of the Sufis that 
" among them the worship of God is the same as the worship of 
man " it is equally applicable here, for says Kabir 

' Consider the Guru as Govinda (God). ' 
Nay more 

' If Hari becomes angry still there is some chance, but if the 

Guru is angry then there is no chance whatever/ 
And as among Sufi orders so in Kabir-Pantha, 

' The real meditation (dhyana, dhiker) is of the Guru's form, 
the real worship is of the Guru's feet. The redl boat is the Guru's 
word, which in essence and feeling is true ' and ' in the three worlds 
and nine regions none is greater than the Guru/ 7 

' Like all Sufis Nanak taught that in the soul's journey, towards 
God it was necessary to be guided by a Guru. In his system the 
preceptor occupies the same position as in that of Kabir/ 8 * 

The names of Kabir and Nanak will thus spring to the mind of 
every Hindu of northern India as those of persons who were deeply 
influenced by Islam and Hindu Vedanta alike. The Sakhis of 
Kabirdas and his devotional songs are repeated by innumerable 

7. Tarachand, op. cit, p. 158. 8. ibid., p. 176. 


Hindus and sung at the time of prayers morning and evening in 
countless Hindu homes. 

' Thus did Kabir turn the attention of India to a religion of 
the universal path ; a road was laid out on which both could tread 
together. No Hindu or Muslim could take exception to such a 
religion. This was the constructive part of Kabir's mission. But it 
had a destructive side also. It was impossible to build a new road 
without clearing aw r ay the jungle which obstructed the ancient 
foot-paths. Kabir therefore attacked with fearless indignation and 
in trenchant language the whole apparatus of externalia which 
obscured the truth or separated the Indian communities from one 
another. He spared neither the Hindu nor the Musalman. 

' He asked the Hindus to give up what every reformer since the 
days of Buddha had insisted upon ceremonial, sacrifice, lust for 
magical powers, lip worship, repetition of formulae, pilgrimages, 
fasts, worship of idols, gods and goddesses, Brahmin supremacy, 
caste differences, prejudices concerning* touchability and food. . . . 
He asks the MusalmUns Jto give up their exclusiveness, their blind 
trust in one Prophet and his book, their externalism in th$ per- 
formance of rites pilgrimage to Mecca, fasts, and regulated 
prayers, their worship of saints (aulia aryd pirs) *and prophets 

'He asks both Hindus and Muslims to have reverence for all 
living creatures and to abstain from bloodshed. He asks them both 
to give up pride whether of birth or of position, to give up extremes 
of asceticism and worldliness and to consider life as a dedication. 
. . .He repeats again and again that Hindus and Muslims are one, 
they worship the same God, they are children of the same Father, 
and they are made of the same blood/ 9 

Every one knows that the entire teaching of Guru Nanak is 
nothing but a synthesis of the fundamental principles of both the 
religions. ' The mission of Nanak was the unification of the Hindu 
and the Musalman. He realised that in order to heal the wounds 
of society it was essencial to end the conflict of religions.' 10 ' Nanak 
shows little mercy to himself and he is naturally not very tender 
when he deals with others. 9 With a mind definite, clearcut and 
keenly alive to the sharp distinctions between good and evil, he 
condemns with Semitic vehemence the superstitions and forma- 
lism of Hinduism and Islam/ 11 Kabir was a Muslim and Nanak 
a c Hindul3y birth and yet they are both the products of that fusion 
which was going on despite the continuance of all outward separa- 
tion and isolationism. 

It was not only in the realm of philosophic an'd religious 
thought that this rapprochement proceeded. In actual practice any 
number of instances may be found of Muslim Kings endowing 

9. Tarachand, op. cit, pp. 163-5, 10. ibid,, p. 16. 11. ibid., p. 172. 


temples and ' maths ' and granting Jagirs to pious Hindus and 
Pandits learned in the Hindu lore. It would be a useful service if 
some scholar could bring together in a compact form a list of the 
numerous endowments and grants made by Muslim Kings to Hindu 
temples and religious shrines such as has been done of those dese- 
crated and destroyed by them. 

* If there had been no cultural co-operation as a rule, why were 
sanads granted by Muslim rulers to Hindu seats of worship and 
learning and vice versa? Students of the history of South India 
must have come across innumerable instances of such grants, made 
to Brahmins by Adil Shahi, Kutub Shahi and Asaf Shahi dynasties. 
Likewise such endowments were made to Muslim places of wor- 
ship by Maratha Rulers even after the political strife with Delhi 
Emperors.' 12 I may mention two instances in Bihar. The nucleus 
of the large Zamindari of the Mahant of Bodh Gaya whose yearly 
income runs into lakhs was a grant by Mohammad Shah of Delhi, 
who by a firman granted the village of Mustipur Taradih to Mahant 
Lai Gir who was the fourth in succession from the founder. Simi- 
larly the great Zamindari perhaps the greatest Zamindari in India 
of Darbhanga owes its origin to a grant by the Mughal Emperor 
Akbar to the ancestor of the present Brahmin Maharajadhiraj for 
his learning and piety. ' To encourage education among his Hindu 
subjects he [Sher Shah] granted them wakfs and allowed them a 
free hand in their management. For this liberal policy he was liked 
by his subjects of all castes and creeds/ 18 

A few other instances supplied to me by Doctor Syed Mahmud 
may be mentioned here : 

Sultan Zainulabdin of Kashmir used often to visit Amarnath 
and Sharda D^vi'c temple, and had houses built there for the com- 
fort of pilgrims. 

The Pathans of Najibabacl ruled over Harclwar about 1780. 
The Nawab built big houses for the comfort of Hindu pilgrims 
which are still in existence and in possession of Hindus. 

In 1588, Guru Arjun Dev dug a tank at Amritsar and in the 
same year proposed to build tne temple there for worship. They 
got the foundation of Harmandir laid by a Musalmanof piety 
named Mian-Peer alias Bala Peer. 
From The History of tlie Darbar of Amritsar, by Sirdar Udham Singh 

Munshi Sujan Rai of Batala, the famous historian of the time of 
Alamgir, mentions in his KhulastulTawarikh, a village Depalival 

12. Atulananda Chakravarti : " Call It Politics?" p. 44. 

13. Ishwari Prasad : "History of Muslim Rule in India/' D. 339. 


which is near Kalanur and where the tomb of Shah Shamshuddin 
Uaryayi is situated. This tomb is visited by a large number of 
people. He writes : ' Both Hindus and Musalmans have a great 
faith in Shah Shamshuddin. But a Hindu named Deepali has prov- 
ed superior to both Hindus and Musalmans in his faith. After Shah 
Daryayi's death Deepali was appointed the first trustee and keeper 
of the tomb with unanimous consent of both Hindus and Musal- 
mans although he was not a Musalman by religion.... Some years 
ago the Musalmans tried to get the Hindu keepers dismissed, so 
much so that religious reasons were urged for this. But the Alam- 
giri Hukumat did not allow the agitation to succeed. At the time 
of writing this book in the third year of Alamgir's rule the Hindus 
are the keepers of this tomb. 5 

Everi^oday in Hyderabad (Deccan) a Brahmin family conti- 
nues to be the Mutwalli of the dargah of a famous Buzurg (pious 
man). The Nizam has granted a big Jagir to this dargah and the 
public also make offerings. Musalmans tried to get the Hindu 
Mutwalli dismissed but the Nizam did not allow this. 


Even today there is a grant on behalf, of the' Nizam to the 
temple of Sitaram in the town of Hyderabad and to another temple 
at Mahor (Adilabad), the annual income from whici comes to 50 
or 60 thousand. The Jagir granted by the Nizam to the Gurdwara 
of Sikhs at Nander has an annual income of 20 thousand. 

Some sanacls in Persian for a grant may be quoted. One is 
dated 1167 Hijri and was granted by Ahmad Shah Bahadur Ghazi : 

' Be it known to the Zamindars and cultivators of Kasba Ach- 
nera in the district of Akbarabad that seventeen bighas of muafi- 
land (land free from rent) are granted " Punyartlr^as a religious 
act) to Sheetal Dass Bairagi, for the expenses of bJwg and naived 
of Shri Thakurji, so that with the income from the said land, the 
said Bairagi may meet the expenses and perform the rites of Shri 

' Be it known to the Choudhri of the Bazar of Achnera thai he 
should give twenty bhar (measures) of grain to Shri Thakurji. The- 
aforesaid Bairagi should not be deprived of it. Dated 3rd Ramzan, 
1139, Fasli/ 

c t 

Another is from Shahabuddin Khan granting a Jagir for the 
expenses of the famous temple of Ganesh at Chinchwad. 


In the name of Moraya Gossain of Chinchwad appertaining to 
Pergannah Poona, about whom Khan-e-Hikmat Nishan Nahar 
Khan has informed that he wants Qaul (binding words) of grant. 


So it is given in writing that he should dwell with his own people 
and connexions in this village and strive to make the lands prospe- 
rous and productive. May no hardship or injury befall him through 
the'will of Allah the Great. The date of Qauliyatnama for this pur- 
pose is the I2th of Zeqad 1326 Hijri. 

There are two firmans of similar grants in Allahabad. One of 
these is in favour of the priests of the famous temple of Maheshwar 
Nath. It was granted by Aurangzeb. 

Aurangzeb made grants to Girdhar, son of Jagjiwan of sakin 
Mouza Basti (resident of village Basti) in the district of Benares, 
Jadu Mishra, resident of Maheshpur Pergannah Haveli, and to 
Pandit Balbhadra Mishra, who were all priests. 

Aurangzeb made a grant of a monetary allowance of a hundred 
rupees to Mishra Kalyandas for the temple of Tutlamaee in Multan 
which is still in existence vide Settlement Report of the District 
of Multan by Hukmchand, Extra Assistant Commissioner. 

Sultan Mohammad Murad Bakhsh in 1153 Hijri made a grant 
that four seers of ghge be given every day from the stores of Ujjain 
so that the temple of jVIahakal may be illuminated every night. 

It may bp stated in a general way that many of the Muslim 
kings and rulers were great patrons of learning and encouraged the 
study not only of Persian and Arabic but also of Sanskrit and In- 
dian literature and sciences. It is not possible even to summarize all 
that they did for the promotion of learning in India. ' Under the 
imperial patronage several Sanskrit books dealing with diverse 
subjects were translated into Persian and Arabic. Besides, there 
were scores of Muslim chiefs who themselves studied Sanskrit and 
patronised it wiihout stint. Many of them translated Sanskrit 
works into Persian in order to put the treasures of Hindu lore with- 
in the reach of the Muslim world and encouraged others in this 
direction. Often Sanskrit works were included in the courses of 
study for Hindu students. In short Sanskrit was encouraged in 
every possible way/ 14 Dr. James H. Cousins, writing about educa- 
tion in Muslim India says : ' Muslim "Kings and Princes themselves 
became students and included^ Hindu culture in their intellectual 
interests. Muslim literary education intermingled as freely with 
Hindu literatures as Moghal painting with Rajput painting. *Hin3u 
classics were translated into Persian and as a consequence Persian 
culture influenced Hindu culture/ 15 

The Hindus are seen even now assembling in as large numbers 
as Muslims at the dargah or tomb of a Muslim saint or on the 

14. S. M. Jaffar : " Education in Muslim India," p. 15. 

15. ibid, p. 15, quoted from " Eastern Times " dated 7-6-1935. 


occasion of Urs fairs from all over India at a place like Ajnier 
Shareef and from within the Province of Bihar at Bihar Shareef, 
Maner Shareef and Phulwari Shareef. Many Hindus have actual- 
ly a sort of relationship with Muslim divines akin to that of gfuru 
and chela or preceptor and disciple. 

The participation by masses of Hindus in the Muslim celebra- 
tions of the Muharram is well known all over northern India, 
There used to be a time not long ago when perhaps the number of 
Hindus joining them exceeded that of the Muslims for the simple 
reason that the former are more numerous than the latter. It was 
not only in the processions that the Hindus joined. They actually 
observed Mijharram as Muslims did in their homes as days of 
mourning and prayer when no festivities could be indulged in and 
no auspicious act, such as a marriage or entry into a new house 
could be celebrated. Many Hindus had their own tazias and separs, 
and Hindu boys fully became paiks and bahishtis donning the 
green dress and badge (badhis as they are called in Bihar) and 
carrying the water washak. Hindu akharas vied with Muslim 
akharas in displaying 'their feats with sword and scimitar, gadka 
and lathi and a host of other instruments. Better still, very often, 
perhaps oftcner than not, these akharas w^re not fhe exclusive 
akharas of either Hindus or Muslims but joint akharas of both. 

There used to be no objection to the very noisy music of the* 
Muharram processions even when they passed by mosques, and 
there used to be no breaking of heads and worse as so often 
happens now-a-days on account of Hindu music before mosques. It 
is a curious thing that in most cases the music accompanying Hindu 
processions that is objected to by Muslims in some places is played 
mostly by professional Muslim musicians. Similarly the cow whose 
sacrifice on the Bakrid day by a Muslim is so often the cause of a 
flare-up among Hindus (who tolerate her slaugfcttf 'from day to 
clay for meat and hide in almost every town of any importancejand 
particularly in cantonments) has very often been the property *of a 
Hindu who has sold her to a Muslim for money, well knowing the 
use to which she would be put by the purchaser. On the other hand, 
we have instances of. Muslim rulers from Babar downwards laying 
stress on the desirability of respecting the Hindu feeling by not 
slaughtering cows, if not actually prohibiting cow-slaughter alto- 
gether, and there are innumerable respectable Muslim families 
among whom beef is never used out of regard for the feelings of 
Hindi? neighbours. ' On tlie occasion of Id it appears the cow was 
not sacrificed, for we are told : " On that day [Id] every one who 
is able will sacrifice a goat in his house, and keep the day as a great 
festival." >1G 

ML Ishwari Prasad : " A Short History of Muslim Rule in India," p. 738, quoting Pelsaert 
"""' j**t 


It is worth while reproducing the secret will of Zahiruddin 
Mohammed Badshah Ghazi (Babar) to Prince Nasiruddin Muham- 
mad Humayun : 

' Oh Son ! the Kingdom of India is full of different religions. 
Praised be God that He bestowed upon thee its sovereignty. It is 
incumbent on thee to wipe all religious prejudices off the tablet of 
thy heart, administer justice according to the ways of every reli- 
gion. Avoid especially the sacrifice of the cow by which thou canst 
capture the hearts of the people of India and subjects of this country 
may be bound up with royal obligations. 

* Do not ruin the temples and shrines of any community which 
is obeying the laws of Government. Administer justice in such a 
manner that the King* be pleased with the subjects and the subjects 
with the King. The cause of Islam can be promoted more by the 
sword of obligation than by the sword of tyranny. 

' Overlook the dissensions of the Shiyas and the Sunnis, else 
the weakness of Islam is manifest. 

* And let the subjects of different beliefs* harmonise in confor- 
mity with the four elements (of which the human body is harmo- 
niou*sly composed) o that the body of the Kingdom may be free 
from different dissensions. The memoirs of Timur, the master of 
conjunctions, (the fortunate,) should always be before thine eyes so 
that thou mayest become experienced in the affairs of administra- 
tion. First J&maicliulawal 935 A.H/ 17 

Some instances of tolerance by Muslims may also be mentioned 
here, given to me by Dr Syed Mahmud : 

The famous Portuguese historian Fari Souza writes in his 
Dakkhan-Ki-Halat: ' Hindus and Musalmans served one another and 
Muslim kings used to appoint Hindus to high posts and confer on 
them high ramtG. 1 ' In other words, there was no discrimination 
against Hindus, and they used to perform their religious rites and 
cereYnonies without hindrance. The Musalmans used to show great 
consideration for the religious feelings of the Hindus. 

Sir Alfred Lyall writes in Asiatic Studies, p. 289 : ' But so far 
were they [Muslim rulers] from converting India, that among the 
JVlohammadans themselves, their own faith never acquired an entire 
exclusive monopoly of the higfy officers of administration/ 

Aurangzeb recommended to Shah Jahan and his ministers 
many able Hindus for appointment. For example, when there w*as 
a vacancy in the post of Diwani of Ellichpur, he strongly recom- 
mended a Rajput officer named Ramkaran but for some reasons 
Shah Jahan did not accept the recommendation. Aurangzeb wrote 
a second time that a better man could not be found. (Ruqaat- 

17. Translation of the will of Babar, a copy of which used to be in possession of the late Dr 
Balkrishna, Principal, Rajarcm College, Kolhapur; published in "The Searchlight," dated 


Alamgiri, Vol. i, p. 114.) Many instances of such recommendations 
may be found in Ruqaat-Alamgiri, and Adab-e*Alamgiri. 

- It is generally believed that Aurangzeb forcibly converted 
Hindus to Islam. But a curious incident may be described here 
which shows his attitude. Shah Jahan had imprisoned the Raja 
Indraman of Wandhera for his repeated acts of disobedience of 
orders. When Aurangzeb was appointed Subedar of the Deccan he 
strongly recommended his release to Shah Jahan. But Shah Jahan 
was so displeased with Indraman that he turned down Aurangzeb's 
recommendation and wrote to him that Indraman had repeatedly 
caused him displeasure, but he might be set free if he became a 
Musalman. Aurangzeb strongly protested against this and wrote 
to Shah Jahan that this condition could not be acted upon and was 
impolitic and short-sighted, and that if he was to be released, he 
should be ^released on conditions offered by himself. Aurangzeb's 
letter to Shafaullah Khan, the Prime Minister, on this subject is to 
be found in the Adab-e-Alamgiri. 

* II. Sdcial Life 

The influence exerted by the Hindu on Muslim social life 
and custom and vice versa was no less remarkable. ' This can be 
illustrated easily by reference to the rites ancrceremonies connected 
with the three most important and significant incidents in human 
life, viz. birth, marriage, and death. I shall mention h&re some com- 
mon or similar rites and customs observed by middle class Hindus 
and Musalmans in Bihar. 

It is a common custom that at the time of the birth of a child, 
particularly if it happens to be a male child, songs are sung which 
are known locally as sohar. Women from neighbouring houses 
assemble and join the singing and other festivitieV^t the door of 
the room of confinement fire is kept burning and a piece of iron and 
a thorny plant of the cactus class known as muthiasij and certain 
other articles are kept to keep out evil spirits. On the sixth day 
after the birth the mother and baby are washed and this ceremony 
is known as chhathi or sixth day ceremony and the mother, taking 
the baby in her arms, looks at the sky and counts the stars. There 
are other ceremonies on the twentieth and fiftieth day known as 
bistouri and chlieella respectively. During the period of confinement 
up to thq sixth day in particular the mother is considered to be 
impure and is not permitted to touch food to be taken by others. 
Both ^the idea of spirits haunting houses and of untouchability of 
food are foreign to orthodox Islam and so also is the idea of bath 
on fixed days after the birth of a child but they are prevalent and 
acted upon in practice in Muslim households. 

Removing the hair with which a baby is born from its head is 


another rite of some importance both among Hindus and Musal- 
mans. It is known as mundan among Hindus and as aqiqa among 
Musalmans. It may have some religious significance but the simi- 
larity of rites is remarkable. 

In Islam marriage is a contract in the legal sense of the term. 
The bridegroom and the bride agree to live together as husband 
and wife and like other contracts the agreement has to be attested 
by witnesses and requires consideration to be passed. It is also 
dissoluble but like other contracts the dissolution is subject to. pay- 
ment of damages. The damages are ascertained and are fixed at 
the time of the marriage, that is, of the contract itself,.the payment 
of which is deferred till the dissolution of the marriage. The more 
essential part of the marriage ceremony is a very short business and 
consists practically of agreement by the parties concerhed in the 
presence of witnesses and takes but a few minutes. This is the nikah 
proper and may be separated from the festivities which are known 
as shadi. In Hinduism marriage is a sacrament and is accordingly 
indissoluble in theory. The vow that is taken is a religions vow and 
is witnessed not only by human beings but also by the sun and the 
moon, fire and the earth, water and stone the symbols of existence 
that last till the separate human soul is merged in the Eternal at 
the end of a cycle. The ceremony when duly performed takes a 
long time. It would thus seem that the two differ fundamentally 
from each other. But as a>matter of practice, while the fundamen- 
tal ceremonies are observed by both the Hindus and Muslims 
according to their religious precepts, the other rites which are not 
essential have Become assimilated to one another to a considerable 
extent. The pomp and procession, the feasts and festivities, the 
songs sung by women, the presents, the practical jokes and playful 
practices are^rikalike. Islam forbids all pomp ; Hinduism neither 
enjoins nor forbids it ; but in both communities today one sees 
things happening- on the occasion of marriage which are hardly 

A detailed description may be of some interest. 
. The rites and ceremonies and festivities connected with mar- 
riage which are prevalent among Musalmans in Bihar have been 
greatly influenced by similar rites, ceremonies and festivities com- 
mon among Hindus. As stated above, nikah is the essential cefe- 
mony for a Muslim marriage. It is often'made coincident with what 
is known as shadi which is the festivity part of it. But it is some- 
times separated from the shadi, which takes place at a different time 
and place. At the time of shadi the bridegroom's party wh'ich 
varies in splendour, pomp and paraphernalia with the wealth and 
social status of the bridegroom's family goes to the house of the 


bride and is lodged ordinarily not in: the house of the bride's father 
but in another house and often in tents. For some days prior to 
the arrival of the party some rites are performed at the houses of 
the bridegroom and the bride. One rite is known as rat faga when 
the women keep awake at night and prepare a kind of pudding. On 
another day the ceremony of mandwa is performed when a sort of 
tent or canopy is fixed in the courtyard of the inner apartments on 
tall bamboos. On a third day the rite of kandoori is performed 
when food is cooked and distributed in the name of dead persons. 
This. food can be taken only by Syed women. On a fixed day the 
party or barat starts and reaches the bride's home. For some days 
before the rq,arriage, the bride has to observe what is known as 
mayun or manja when she has to keep indoors and so no one except 
some selected women of the family can see her during the period. 
She is an6inted with ubtan (a preparation of turmeric and some 
other things) every day, and she comes out only on the day of 

Among the Hindus the mandwa or mandap is made on an 
auspicious day one or two days before the marriage which is r per- 
formecl in the mandap. There is a particular religious ceremony 
whereby dead ancestors arc invited to witness and bless the mar- 
riage and to take the new couple within their fold of kinsmen. The 
girl is anointed with turmeric which is considered a vqry important 
ceremony and the saying goes that this ceremony of anointing with 
turmeric cannot be performed twice on a girl, that is to say, there 
cannot be a second marriage of a girl, if one husband dies. She is 
kept secluded for a number of days before the marriage when she 
may not see anyone and what with the anointment and what with 
the abstinence from bath on those days she looks emaciated and 
dirty ; just a day or two before the marriage she Ijas to take a bath 
with ceremony. Feeding Brahmins on every important occasion is 
a common thing among all Hindus throughout India. The barat 
or marriage processions of Hindus ancl Muslims are indistingui- 
shable in their pomp u great parade of elephants, horses and now- 
a-clays motor cars, and if at night with lights of all kinds, music, 
etc. Both among Hindus ancl Musalmans, the bridegroom's party 
is usually accommodated at another house or in tents, chiefly 
because the bride's father is unable c to find accommodation in his 
own house for such large crowds as constitute it. 

^ Among Hindus in Bihar the procession goes to the house of 
the brjcle where the bridegroom is received by the women of the 
bride's family who sprinkle a little water and scatter rice over the 
bridegroom, put the tilak on his forehead, and wave a light in front 
of him. The father of the bride also receives him with ceremony 
and makes some present. The other guests are received and offered 
drinks ancl light refreshments. The whole party then proceeds to 


its lodgings. This is known as parichawan. Soon after, the bride's 
party accompanied by some women with water and eatables ap- 
proach the bridegroom's party at the latter's lodgings and invite 
them formally to dinner. Presents are made to the bridegroom's 
elders. This is known as dhurchak. 

A little later the bridegroom's party proceeds to the bride's 
house when the bride is seated in the mandap and the elder brother 
of the bridegroom presents to her clothes and ornaments, and 
sweets and scents carried in a specially made basket which looks 
like a temple with a broad base and a tapering top. This is the only 
occasion when an elder brother of the bridegroom is supposed or 
expected to see or touch the bride. This is known as kanyanirikshan 
(seeing the bride). Next is the ceremony of marriage proper. The 
bridegroom and bride are brought together in the mandap the 
bride with clothes and ornaments presented by the bridegroom's 
party, and the bridegroom with the clothes presented by the bride's 
party and after worship of God, the parents of the bride make a for- 
mal gift of the girl to the bridegroom with -due ceremony. Some 
of the near relations of the parties are present. In Bihar, on account 
of strictness of the wirdah, men of the bridegroom's party except 
the priest and such other persons as have to officiate and participate 
in the ceremonies, are not allowed to attend this ceremony, as the 
ladies of the bride's family are present. All who join the party are 
supposed to 6e witnesses and the ceremonies include invocations 
to^God and the sun, the moon, fire, water, earth and stone, etc. to, 
witness and bless the union, and a repetition by the bridegroom 
and bride of certain mantras promising to be true and faithful to 
each other. The pair then goes round the fire and the ceremony 
is completed with the bridegroom besmearing the forehead of the 
bride with vermilion. This is known as sindwrdan or gift of vermi- 
lion. This vcJFfcwiion mark is the sign of the woman's good fortune 
and she puts it on so long as her husband is alive. 

Among^the Musalmans after the arrival of the bridegroom's 
party there is a ceremony of what is known as bari when people of 
the bridegroom's party proceed from their lodgings to the bride's 
house with clothes, oil, sweets, fruits, etc. accompanied by music. 
In front is carried what is known as sohagpura which is a kind of 
basket with a broad base and a tapering top containing spices, 
fruits, sweets, coloured yarn, rice, etc. exactly like that of the Hin- 
dus. ^ When these presents have been received by the bridVs people 
they in their turn present clothes etc. known as khilat for the*bride- 
groom. He wears the clothes so presented. The nikah or essential 
marriage ceremony if it has not taken place already is performed 
at^this time. The bridegroom puts sandal-paste on the head of the 
bride as vermilion in the case of Hindus and the ceremony is known 
as nwngbhari. At this time pieces of poetry suitable to the 


occasion are repeated and songs are sung. The Hindus also on the 
occasion of the dhurchak and kanyanirikshan have the custom of 
repeating verses and discussions among the younger folk and learn- 
ed Pandits, in earnest as also in fun. On each and every occasion, 
both among Hindus and Musalmans, the women folk sing suitable 
songs which are similar in tune and substance. 

The marriage party generally departs from the bride's house 
after a day's stay. On the second day the bridegroom is taken to 
the mandap and some ceremonies in which the women participate 
are performed. These have no religious significance but are custo- 
mary and vary from place to place. Among the Hindus the boy is 
anointed with ubtan to which he consents only if a present is made 
to him. In the evening the women take him to the bride's r^m and 
perform what is known as the kohbar ceremony. Before the party 
departs the ceremony of muhdekhi (seeing the face) is held when 
the bridegroom and bride are seated together and the bridegroom's 
relations are supposed to see the girl's face and to make presents. 
And lastly there is the bidai, or farewell ceremony. In between, the 
bridegroom's party is fed by the bride's party. Among Musaltpans 
also the bridegroom is taken to the mandwa the ceremony of 
runumai (face seeing*) is held when the husband and ivife see each 
other's face in a mirror. At the time of the departure of the bride- 
groom and bride for the former's house presents are^ made to the 
bridegroom both among* Hindus and Musalmans, which are mostly 
articles of household utility and may include clothes, beddings, 
utensils, conveyance like a palki in which the bride is taken. Among 
Hindus a cow is often presented and those who can afford it present 
a horse or an elephant and now-a-days a motor car. 

Among Musalmans the bride on arrival is not taken straight 
to the bridegroom's house but is stopped at some place like a dargah 
where the women of the bridegroom's family come~with water and 
twigs of mango and perform some rites. On arrival at the house 
of the bridegroom the husband of the bridegroom's sister stops the 
conveyance and does not allow it to enter the house before a present 
is made to him. Among' the Hindus also the sister's husband is 
offered a present for a similar symbolic obstruction, and the boy 
and the girl are taken round to places of worship like a temple or 
Kaliasthan. . 

There is thus a close similarity in the ceremonies and rites of 
boih Hindus and Musalmans, and this in spite of the fact that 
Islam t does not prescribe any of them and some of them may appear 
to orthodox and puritanical Musalmans to be even opposed to its 

Hinduism as generally understood does not permit dissolution 
of marriage not only in life but even after death and hence there 
can be no remarriage for a widow. Islam does nothing of this sort 


and indeed remarriage of a widow has the high authority of the 
Prophet himself who married widows. Yet Hindu customs and 
environment have cast such great influence on Muslims that in 
northern India at any rate remarriage of a widow though not pro- 
hibited, either socially or as a matter of religion, is not looked upon 
with favour in respectable Muslim families. 

The essential funeral ceremonies are also performed by the 
Hindus and Musalmans as prescribed by their respective religions. 
Among Musalmans before the burial, prayers are offered ; later 
again prayers are offered and food distributed to the poor on the 
third or fourth and again on the tenth and fortieth day.for the bene- 
fit of the departed soul. I do not know if these observances on 
fixed clays after death are prescribed by Islam but there is no doubt 
that they look very much like those of the Hindus on prescribed 
days the second, the seventh, the tenth and the twelfth or thir- 
teenth or thirtieth day, when they also after offering water and 
pinda (oblation) to the departed soul fce/1 the poor and distribute 


Even th caste system has not left the Indian Musalmans un- 
touched and unaffected. The Syed, the Shaikh, the Pathan, the 
Malik, the M^min, the Mansoor, the Rayeen, the Qasab, the Raki, 
the Hajjam, the Dhobi and a host of other caste names may be 
mentioned to show the division among Musalmans. Some of these 
are the result of the profession followed, while others are based on 
birth and hereby. As in the case of widow marriage, while mar- 
riages of members of one with those of another are not prohibited 
socially or as a matter of religion, they often if not in very many 
cases, take place^within the group to which both parties belong. 
But more thalT^marriage, one can almost feel while moving and 
living intimately among them that these groups have developed to 
a considerable extent the exclusiveness and that indefinable cons- 
ciousness of separateness from other groups which is so characte- 
ristic of castes among Hindus. One need only mention the Muslim 
Bhangi who has no higher status in^ Muslim society than a Hindu 
untouchable of that class among Hindus. Not that Islam sanctions 
any of these things. It is thejinfluence of the environment, which 
the Muslims of India have not been able to withstand. 

It is necessary in this connexion also to mention fhat large 
communities among Musalmans who have been converted to*Islam 
from among Hindus have carried with them, and still maintain, 
many of their Hindu usages and customs even after a long lapse of 
time since their conversion. One need only mention that the Mai- 
kana Rajputs, an unsuccessful effort for whose conversion back to 
Hinduism made about twenty years ae-o led to so much bad blood, 


still observe and maintain many old rites and ceremonies which 
they used to observe as Hindus. Doubtless there are other groups 
who have similarly not given up their old customs. 

It is also a well-known fact that many large groups of Muslims 
retained till recently even the laws of inheritance which they used 
to have before their conversion to Islam, in spite of the fact that 
Jslam lays clown its own laws. The Khojas and the Cutchi Memons 
and Boharas are rich Muslim communities in Sindh, Gujerat and 
Bombay. They have trade and business not only in other parts of 
India but also in many foreign countries like South and East Africa, 
Arabia, Persia, Malaya, etc. Many of them till 1937 retained not 
only many Hindu customs but also the Hindu law of inheritance. 
Similarly Baluchis and some Punjabi Musalmans have had their 
own customary law. The Moplahs are governed by the Marumak- 
kathayam law. It was only in 1937 that an act was passed w r hereby 
Shariat was made applicable to Musalmans any custom or usage 
not incorporated in a statute to the contrary notwithstanding. 

Hindus have undoubtedly always refused to dine with Mjisal- 
inans. But all Hindus do not dine with one another. This taboo has 
existed and exists even today not only as between Hindus and Mu- 
salmans but also as between different castes and even sub-castes 
among Hindus themselves. Thus a Brahmin does not dine 
with a Rajput, and a Rajput does not dine with a Baniya or Ka- 
yastha. Even among Brahmins a Sakadwipi Brahmin does not 
dine with a Sarjoopari or a Dakshini Brahmin with a Bengali or 
Maithili Brahmin and vice versa. Sarjoopari Brahmins do 
not dine with one another unless they are related,* nor 
does a Srivastava Kayastha dine with Ambastha or Kama 
Kayastha. If a non-Hindu wishes to go into^ details of these 
taboos he will find himself absolutely and completely be- 
wildered in their mazes. Not only is there a distinction between 
caste and caste and the sub-castes of a caste but taboo 
extends to various kinds of food and the way it is cooked. In Bihar, 
bread if fried in ghee may be eaten, even if touched by a man of 
another caste, but not if it is baked on fire ; it is not so in Bengal. 
Some vegetables cooked without salt may be eaten but not if salt 
is mixed. These distinctions differ also from province to province, 
from caste to caste, and from article to article. No one who has not 
been bornand brought up in the system can know much less under- 
stand these taboos or the principles, if any, on which they are based. 
It is therefore not surprising if, say, a Kayastha hardly ever feels 
hurt^or humiliated if, say, a Rajput refuses to take food touched 
by him and vice versa. They all take it as a matter of course and 
feel no sense of humiliation or inferiority. Even the so-called un- 
touchables until recently accepted their fate without bitterness 


and malice. What I have said above applies to the ordinary mass 
of Hindus and is not true of those who have received modern educa- 
tion or come under the influence of caste conferences and reform 
movements like that of the Brahmo Samaj or Arya Samaj or the 
levelling influence of Mahatma Gandhi. These educated or reform- 
ed Hindus have in many cases dropped and given up in their own 
lives many of these taboos, and many who still stick to them in 
practice, give no intellectual appreciation or support to them. 

The Musalmans who have come in close contact with the 
Hindus and their society with its caste system have not failed sym- 
pathetically to understand these taboos and have not in actual 
practice resented them, as they know that they imply no inferiority 
but are only just a custom which has come down and has been 
accepted as such by the Hindus. They have therefore frejely joined 
Hindu festivities in connexion with marriages, chilcl-births, etc. 
when invited, and have invited Hindus on similar occasions to their 
own houses and families. Food has not stood in the way of free and 
cordial social relationship. The Hindu has 'provided food to his 
Muslim guests, observing his own caste rule, and the Muslim has 
fed and entertained his Hindu guests without in any way interfer- 
ing with their* caste prejudices. Here again what t have said applies 
to the ordinary unsophisticated Musalman and not to all educated 
and modern IVluslims. What I have stated above is not in justifi- 
cation of the caste system or in extenuation of its evils. I have only 
stated facts as they have been ; but times have changed and with 
them views and attitudes too. While therefore it is highly desirable 
to remove and abolish as many of these distinctions and differences 
as possible and that as soon as possible, especially when an ever- 
increasing number of persons both among the Hindus and Musal- 
mans have begun jto resent them, it is not right to attach too much 
importance to'TJrem as factors standing in the way of conciliation, 
goodwill and fellow-feeling between the two communities whether 

in the past or at present 

In a village where both Hindus and Musalmans liveand that 
is the case in innumerable villages both in provinces where Muslim 
population preponderates and in provinces where Hindus form a 
majority of the population it is a common experience to see a real 
and genuine friendship and neighbourliness established and a 
Hindu as unabashedly calls a Muslim neighbour as bhaCor chaclia 
or kaka as a Muslim does a Hindu neighbour. Indeed there are 
many names which are common to members of both communities, 
particularly among the lower strata of society, and Hindu names 
have been adopted or retained by Muslims And Muslim names have 
been taken by many Hindus. This is true not only of the surnames 
and titles which imply distinction of posts and professions but also 


of the real and particular names of individuals. Not only men but 
also villages, towns, tanks in fact everything which can bear a 
name has a Hindu or a Muslim name or a name which is half 
Hindu and half Muslim, irrespective of the fact whether they are 
inhabited or owned by Hindus or Muslims or as is more frequently 
the case, by both. 

The old village life is being gradually disrupted and broken up. 
Being born and bred up in a village in Bihar and not having cut 
myself off from village moorings I make bold to describe the general 
life there as it existed not long ago when I was a youth and which 
has not disappeared even now. Every village was more or less a 
self-contained unit in many respects. It had its own land which 
was cultivated by the village people, its own pasture land and its 
own complement of workers and artisans and people of various 
grades and professions. Thus in a typical village one would find 
peasants and labourers, Zamindars and Brahmins, and in many 
places both Hindus and Musalmans. Each village had its carpenter 
and blacksmith, barb'er a^d washerman, potter and bangle-seller 
(churihar), grain-parcher and oil-presser. There were alscv the 
mehtar or bhangi (sweeper) and chamar and dwne. Each of these 
had his utility in the social and economic life pf the viflage and was 
in most cases paid in kind at the time of harvest by each peasant. 
Most of them had a part to play on ceremonial occasions such as 
child-birth, marriage, death, for which he got some special reward 
or perquisite according to the status arid financial position of the 
person to whom he rendered service. Now, some of these might be 
Musalmans, but nevertheless they rendered the same service as their 
Hindu compatriots and were remunerated in the same way. The 
barber, for example, is a very important person in connexion with 
many ceremonies among Hindus. Thus in the ceremony of chura- 
karan (first shaving of head) which goes mostly whn the ceremony 
of giving the sacred thread to a boy among Hindus of higher castes, 
he is a principal performer. On the occasion of marriage and in 
fact practically in all ceremonies he has some part or other to play. 
In connexion with funeral rites, again, shaving is an important 
item among Hindus of all ca c stes and the barber is naturally in 
demand and does a lot of other things in connexion with the offer- 
ing of oblations and pinda at the time of shraddha. There are many 
villages where there is no Hindu barber. The Muslim barber does 
all the things that a Hindu .barber does except offering eatables and 
water. The Hindu does not object to accepting his services as being 
against his religion or custom, nor does the Muslim barber object 
to rendering his services which in many instances are more or less 
of a religious nature and thus may be repugnant to the strict tenets 
of Islam. Wearing of bangles is regarded as an indispensable requi- 
site for every Hindu woman whose husband is alive. Those who 


supply bangles at the time of marriage and other auspicious occa- 
sions when they are required to be changed, as also for ordinary 
everyday use, are invariably Muslims whose women folk have 
access for this purpose to the ladies of even well-to-do Hindu fami- 
lies who observe strict purdah. Similarly the washerman or the 
bhangi may be a Hindu or Muslim and does his ordinary work as 
also his special part on ceremonial occasions irrespective of the fact 
whether he is a Hindu or Muslim. Another caste is that of mails 
\\ho are expert gardeners and rear flowers. Their function is to 
supply flowers not only for ceremonial purposes but also for all 
religious functions and for daily worship. The mail, too, does this 
service irrespective of the fact whether he is a Hindu or Musalman. 
The Hindu does not object to receiving flowers from a Muslim 
mail for offering them to his God, nor does the MusHui mail object 
to supplying flowers intended for being offered to an idol in'a temple 
or in connexion with any other religious ceremony. All this has 
been going on for hundreds of years and must have been the pro- 
duct of intimate contact between the members of the two commu- 
nities. * 


Dress is influenced more than anything else by the climatic 
conditions of the place where the wearers live. It is therefore not 
surprising that*dress in India differs from province to province and 
to a considerable extent according to the means of the wearers. 
Among the lower strata of society and the poorer people there is 
not much difference and similarly among the people more or less 
at the top of the* social ladder there is not much difference. The 
difference in fact is more between the rich and well-to-do on the 
one hand and the poor on the other. No foreigner could ordinarily 
notice a different, between the Indian costume of a Pandit Motilal 
Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Dr Sachchidananda Sinha, or Pan- 
dit JaVaharlal Nehru or Kumar Ganganad Sinha, President of the 
Bihar Provincial Hindu Mahasabha, and that of Nawab Muham- 
mad Ismail or Chaudhri Khaliquzzaman, shining lights in the 
Muslim League, or Sir AH Imam, or for that matter, of Qaed-e- 
Azam Jinnah. Similarly he would not find a distinction between 
the dress of Sardar Sardttl Singh Caveeshar or Sardar Mangal 
Singh who are Sikhs and of M&ulana Zafar AH or Maulana Abul 
Kalam Azad expect for the head dress of the Sikhs. If he, went t# 
a village in Bihar or Bengal or the Punjab or the U.P. where the 
Muslim kisan is busy cultivating his field, he would not find* him 
wearing a dress which would distinguish him from his Hindu com- 
v patriot engaged in the same occupation. I take no notice of the 
Fez-cap which is not Indian and is only a recent introduction and 
donned bv some Muslims, particularly among- the educated classes 


in some places in imitation of Turkey which has now given it up. 

Pyjamas are worn by Muslims more largely than by Hindus 
and may thus be considered as peculiar to them in some places but 
the number of Hindus wearing pyjamas is not small, and the pyjama 
is not worn by the vast majority of Musalmans. The dhoti whose 
very name is derived from Sanskrit and is a peculiarly Hindu 
dress is actually worn in one form or another by the vast majority 
of Muslims of India, as any one who has seen villages and come 
in contact with the masses of Musalmans both in towns and villages 
but more largely in villages can easily testify. 

The assimilation of articles of personal adornment has passed 
even into the zenana in spite of the purdah. Many ornaments worn 
by women are common to both Hindus and Musalmans and many 
of them have their names derived either from a Hindu or Muslim 
source and continue to bear those names irrespective of the fact 
that they are worn by Hindu or Muslim women. Similarly the sari 
is the most common dress of women all over India. It 'is worn by 
both Hindu and Muslim women, and where pyjamas are worn by 
women as in parts of the north-western region, they are worn not 
only by Muslim women but by Sikh and Hindu women as Wfell. In 
the hills pyjamas are commonly worn by all on -account of the 
severe cold of the locality. 


One social institution which will sit ike every foreign visitor to 
India is the institution of purdah, or gosha as it is called in some 
places. It is purely an Islamic institution, although in India it has 
developed its own technique independently. I am told that accord- 
ing to Islamic shariat, women are not prohibited from going out of 
their homes, only they must cover their faces like other parts of 
their bodies with a veil or burqa. In India they^g^enerally are not 
permitted to go out of their houses. This is possible only in the 
case of those who can afford to keep within doors. The poorer 
people who cannot Afford it have perforce to go out for various 
kinds of business. 

The ancient Hindu custom does not recognize or encourage 
purdah at all. In "fact Sanskrit literature is full of references to 
women who freely came out and joined their husbands in all their 
undertakings in which women could participate. The modern 
Custom pf observing purdah is entirely borrowed from Musalmans 
and is enforced with the greatest rigour in places which have come 
most under Muslim influence. It is not prevalent in the South 
where Muslim influence did not penetrate to the extent it did in 
the North except among some of the classes which imitated the 
Muslim rulers. Today reform for abolishing purdah makes easier 
headway among Hindus than among Musalmans, because it has 


some sort of sanction in Islam which it lacks in Hinduism. 

It will thus appear from the above discussion that there has 
been considerable influence exerted by the two communities on each 
other and they came to live together in peace and harmony in spite 
of their religious differences which undoubtedly had shaped their 
social institutions also separately and in different moulds. It is 
nevertheless true that the two never coalesced and neither was able 
to absorb the other completely. It was not to be expected that this 
would happen. The mere fact that Islam was a religion which had 
its origin in a foreign land and had a complete code for governing 
and regulating the life of its adherents based on a different back- 
ground would make it difficult, if not impossible, for it to be absorb- 
ed by Hinduism or to absorb Hinduism in itself. Hindu literature, 
philosophy and religion are highly developed and command the 
reverence and adherence of millions of people. Hinduism has ab- 
sorbed all protestant sects which rose and grew on the Indian soil 
in course of time. Professor Rhys Davids venting about the rela- 
tion of Hinduism with Buddhism says that ' Hinduism permits the 
mosf complete freedom of thought and expression which the world 
has yet witnessed.' 187 This has come down from the earliest days of 
the Vedas and the Upanishads and explains the development of 
various schools of thought and philosophy. There is, therefore, no 
formula of fakh which a Hindu must accept. But Hinduism insists 
upon certain rules of personal and social conduct which have varied 
from time to time and from place to place to suit exigencies and 
contingencies. There is therefore extensive room for social reform 
among Hindus &nd it is this elasticity which has helped the Hindu 
society not only to adapt itself to changing circumstances but also 
to assimilate a host of others who did not have the same sort of 
philosophical a-^ct religious background of long standing. In ab- 
sorbing its own protestant sects it was helped not a little by this 
socikl adaptability and freedom of thought which did not hesitate 
to apotheosize even the founders of these pyotestant sects as was 
the case with Buddhism. Buddha was accepted as one of the 
Avatars, although one can quote passages from books denouncing 
the Buddha, which \vas symptomatic of the conflict that was going 
on during the period of assimiliation. And today Buddhism that is, 
its philosophy and code of moVals and conduct has been so com- 
pletely absorbed in Hinduism that there is practically no.Buddlyst 
left in the land of the birth of Buddhis^n. Buddhism was an off- 
shoot of Hinduism and the whole background of its philosophy is 
Hindu in conception and expression. It was therefore easily ab- 
sorbed in Hinduism in India but flourished as a separate religion 
in other countries where there was no sucn opportunity for either 

18. Rhvs Davids: "Buddhist India," p. 258. 


its absorbing or being absorbed by any other religion or philosophy. 
It is, therefore, not surprising that with such background Hinduism 
did not and could not absorb or get absorbed in Islam. But the fact 
that the two lived and flourished side by side has, I believe, been 
for the good of both and I do not think it is doing service to either 
to rake up old and forgotten incidents and episodes in their long 
history of association for proving their separateness or, what 
amounts to the same thing, for creating rivalries and bad blood 
among them. It is more profitable and certainly much more 
honourable to recognize the fact that both have lived together for 
hundreds of years mostly on terms of amity and goodwill and, 
what is more important, that there is no escape for either from 
this association in future. 

1 cannot do better than close this section with quotations from 
two Professors of History one a Hindu, Dr Tarachand whom we 
have quoted frequently, and the other a Muslim, Mr Salahuddin 
Khodabaksh, Profess9r of Law and Islamic History, Calcutta Uni- 

Writes Dr Tarachand: 

'It is hardly possible to exaggerate the extent c*f Muslim in- 
fluence over Indian life in all departments. But nowhere else is it 
shown so vividly and so picturesquely as in customs, in intimate 
details of domestic life, in music, in the fashions oi* dress, in the 
ways of cooking, in the ceremonial of marriage, in the celebration 
of festivals and fairs, and in the courtly institutions and etiquette 
of Maratha, Rajput and Sikh Princes. In the days of Babar, the 
Hindu and Muslim lived and thought so much alike that he was 
forced to notice their peculiar "Hindustani way"; his successors so 
gloriously adorned and so marvellously enriched this legacy that 
India might well be proud today of the heritage Wlr'ch they in their 
turn have left behind." 10 

Mr Salahuddin Khodabaksh writes: 

'We are constancy told that Mohammedans are a distinct 
people, as unlike the Hindus as the Semitic is unlike the Aryan; 
that there are differences penetrating to the very root of life; diffe- 
rences of habit, temperament, social customs, racial type ; that these 
differences are so vital and so enormous that fusion between the 
two is a hopeless impossibility, an impracticable dream. Now I am 
not at all sure that this argument is sound. Admitting that the 
Mohammedans came to India as foreign conquerors as utterly dif- 
ferent to the Hindus as the British are different to us both, we 
cannot forget that for many centuries they have lived side by side, 
freely mixing with the people of the land, naturally influencing each 
other, taking Indian women as their wives, adopting local customs 

19, Tarachand ; " Influence of Islam on Indian Culture," pp. 141-2. 


and local usages: in fine, permeated and pervaded through and 
through by local characteristics and local peculiarities. The most 
infallible proof of this we find in the marriage ceremonies, which 
are entirely Hindu ceremonies, in the customs of the women folk, 
such as the use of the vermilion mark, the symbol and token of 
wedded life, the restrictions imposed upon the dress and diet of 
widows, the disapproval, nay, condemnation, of widow marriages 
and indeed in a thousand little practices behind the zenana. All 
this indicates somewhat more than mere superficial connexion 
between the two communities which mainly divide the Indian popu- 
lation. A yet clearer proof is the unity of language, and the simi- 
larity of dress. Moreover, say what you will, a large number, in 
fact the largest portion of the Mohammeda'n population, are Hindu 
converts to Islam. It rests upon no unwarranted assumption, but 
upon well-ascertained facts, that Hinduism and Mohammedanism 
have acted and reacted upon each other, influencing social institu- 
tions, colouring religious thoughts with their mutual, typical and 
religious hues ; these being conspicuous* illustrations of the union 
of tJie two streams of Hinduism and Islam which, since Muslim 
conquest, have flowed side by side in India/ 20 

Is all this beautiftil warp and woof which has been woven into 
the most delicate and exquisite fabric of our social life by unintend- 
ed action or ^conscious effort of innumerable men and women 
Hindu and Muslim in the course of centuries to be torn to pieces 
by the cruel and undiscerning hand of ununderstanding politics? 

III. Language , 

The language that is spoken and understood in northern India 
now, by whatever name we may call it, has undoubtedly been 
greatly influenced by, if it is not the product of, the joint efforts of 
Hindus and Musalmans. Its origin is surely to be sought in the 
Sanskrit language and its offshoots Prakrit and Pali which became 
current after Sanskrit had ceased to be the spoken language of the 
masses. The language of the Muslim invaders and conquerors dif- 
fered according to the tribe to which they belonged, influenced and 
affected as that language was by Arabic and more largely by Per- 
sian. During the period of Muslim rule Persian became the court 
language and was largely stfldied by the higher classes of the 
Hindus also, particularly such of them as came in close coutact with 
the State and the ruling people. But it never became, as it % could 
never have become, the language of the masses. As the bulk of 
Musalmans of India were Indians by birth, the Persian language 
was never the language of the vast majority of Musalmans even 
of those days. A language which could be used as medium of 

20. Quoted by Dr Sachchidananda Sinha in his " Some Eminent Bihar Contemporaries." 
pp. 185-6. 


intercourse between the foreign Muslim rulers and the Indians 
both Hindus and Musalmans was therefore a necessity. Both 
joined in developing it and as early as the days of Amir Khusro, it 
had become so far advanced as to be used by him for his verses 
which are popular even to this day. The protagonists of both Urdu 
and Hindi as understood today admit the contribution of both 
Hindus and Musalmans to the growth of the literatures of both 
if they are treated as separate languages. As Hindus looked to 
Sanskrit literature for religious inspiration and the Muslims to 
Arabic and Persian it was only natural and to be expected that they 
would import words derived from the one or the other, leaving the 
structure of the language intact. That structure which is the real 
framework of a language is still common to both forms of the 
language known as Hindi and Urdu. The difference mainly is in 
respect of a portion of the vocabulary only. It is therefore that in 
northern India there is one language that is understood and spoken 
by both Hindus and. Musalmans, although educated people in 
writing it use more or less words of Sanskrit and Persian or Arabic 
according to the education and training they have received. It is 
unfortunate that a controversy has been raised eveif in regard to 
what can and ought to be justly claimed as a common heritage of 
both Hindus and Musalmans. 

The protagonists of Hindi cannot forget or ignore the very 
valuable contribution made by Musalmans to the growth of that 
language and its literature right from the days of Amir Khusro to 
the present day. One has only to turn to a selection of poems 
written by Musalmans from time to time contained in one of the 
volumes of Kabita Kaumudi compiled by Pandit Ramnaresh Tripathi. 
There we find that not only is the language employed by the Mus- 
lim poets what writers of Hindi claim to be Hindi w btit there are also 
devotional songs the very theme of which is Hinduistic. It is well 
known that Sita Ram and Radha Krishna furnish themes for the 
bulk of the literature q,f the Hindus. A small volume comprised in 
the series of five volumes published by the Gita Press of Gorakh- 
pore contains devotional hymns composed by Musalmans only, and 
no devotee can fail to be elated and inspired' by them. The dohas of 
Rahiman are household property all over northern India like the 
sawaiyyas of Giriclhar for their wit aiid wisdom. Kabir has already 
bepn met\tioned as the devotee philosopher who brought down the 
lofty teachings and philosophy of the Upanishads and Vedanta 
from fheir high pedestal to the level of understanding of the com- 
mon man and the village dragged them out of the secluded 
cloisters and forest and mountain ashramas of Yogis, and introduc- 
ed them into the huts and hamlets of the peasants. What Tulsi- 
das did in northern India and Mahaprabhu Chaitanya in Bengal 
and Orissa for popularizing the calt of Bhakti, Kabir did in northern 


India for popularizing Yoga and Vedanta. 

Similarly who can deny the contribution made to Urdu lite- 
rature by Hindus and who can say that Hindus even today do not 
constitute a very considerable proportion of the people interested in 
and devoted to Urdu language and literature? It is thus not only 
against facts of history but also a denial of facts of everyday life 
and occurrence to make the question of language a bone of conten- 
tion between Hindus and Muslims. 

But it was not only Hindi or Urdu that owed a debt to Muslim 
rulers for its growth and development. Other Provincial languages 
were also helped and owed not a little to the encouragement given 
by Muslim rulers. 'In the north Hindi, in the west Marathi, and in 
the east Bengali developed into literary languages, and Hindus and 
Musalmans share in the glory of their achievements. Above all, a 
new linguistic synthesis takes place : the Muslim gives up his Tur- 
kish and Persian and adopts the speech of the Hindu. He modifies 
it like his architecture and painting to his needs and thus evolves 
a new literary mediumthe Urdu. Again, 'both Musalmans and 
Hindus adopt it as their own and a curious phenomenon occurs, 
Hindi Bhasha is employed for one kind of literary expression, the 
Urdu for another; aird thus whenever the creative impulse of the 
Muslim or the Hindu runs in one channel he uses Hindi and when 
it drives him into the other he uses Urdu . . . Muslim influence upon 
Hindi as such was deep and is seen in fts vocabulary, grammar, 
metaphor, prosody and style; and what is true of Hindi is true of 
Marathi and Bengali and more so of Punjabi and Sindhi/ 21 

' The efforts of the rulers of Bengal were not confined to the 
promotion of Mohammedan learning alone, for they also directed 
their fostering care for the advancement of letters into a new chan- 
nel which is of ^particular interest to the Bengali-speaking people. 
It may seem to them an anomaly that their language should owe 
its elevation to a literary status not to themselves but to the Mo- 
hammedans. ... It was the epics the Ramayan and the Mahabha- 
rat that first attracted the notice of the Mohammedan rulers of 
Bengal at whose instance they were translated into Bengali, the 
language of their domicile. The first Bengali rendering of the 
Mahabharat was ordered by Nazir Shah of Bengal (A.D. 1282-1385) 
who was a great patron of the*vernacular of the province and whom 
the great poet Vidyapati has immortalised by dedicating Jo him pnc 
of his songs. ... It is doubtful whether a Muslim ruler of Bengal 
or the Hindu Raja Kans Narayan appointed Kirtibas to translate 
the Ramayan into Bengali. Even if the latter story be true it is 
undoubted that Muslim precedents influenced the action of the 
Raja. . . . Emperor Husain Shah was a great patron of Bengali. 
Haldhar Basu was appointed by him to translate +h ni at 

21. Tarachand, op. cit, pp. 139-140. 


Puran into Bengali. ... Paragal Khan, a general of Husain Shah, 
and Paragal's son Chhuti Khan, have made themselves immortal 
by associating their names with the Bengali translation of a portion 
of the Mahabharat.' 22 

The question of language has to be considered from another 
point of view. So far as the two nations theory is concerned it does 
not at all help the protagonists of partition. Language differs from 
area to area and not from community to community. Thus Bengali 
is the language of both Hindus and Musalmans of Bengal. So is 
Gujrati of Gujerat and Punjabi of the Punjab and Hindi or Urdu 
(or Hindustani or by whatever other name one chooses to call it) of 
northern India including the whole area from the borders of the 
Punjab to the borders of Bengal on the one side and from the foot 
of the Himalayas to the borders of the Marathi-speaking and 
Telugu-speaking Provinces in Central and Southern India. These- 
languages differ from the South Indian languages like Telugu, 
Tamil, Kanarese and Malayalam and have their own local varia- 
tions and dialects which are used by the common folk. There is no 
division of the population in any part of India which coincided both 
in respect of language and religion. The distribution of languages 
is territorial and not communal or religious. If the common 
language of both Musalmans and non-Musahnans among whom 
the vast majority is Musalman in the north-eastern* /-one of India 
is Bengali, if the common language of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims 
of the Punjab is alike Punjabi, there is no language which is com- 
mon to all the people comprised in the four or five divisions of the 
North- West which are sought to be included in the north-western 
zone. Punjabi is at least as different from Pushto or Sindhi or 
Baluchi as Hindi is from Bengali, and as Pushto is from Sindhi or 
Kashmiri. It is thus clear that if the question ofi]#tionality has to 
be determined on the basis of language, then the Bengalis whether 
Muslim or Hindu have to go together as they have one corrflnon 
language and equally ^clearly the Punjabi, the Sindhi, the Pathan 
and the Baluchi cannot go together as forming one nation as their 
languages differ from one another as much as they differ from 

The religious literature of Hindus and Muslims derives its in- 
spiration from Sanskrit and Arabic respectively which are their 
fountain-heads. A Bengali-speaking Hindu draws that inspiration 
from Sanskrit just as the Tamil-speaking or Sindhi-speaking Hindu 
does. * Similarly a Punjabi-speaking Musalman turns to the same 
fountain-head of Arabic as does the Musalman of the South or the 
East. While thus Hindus and Musalmans have different sources 
for their religious inspiration and ideals, sources which are not the 
common or spoken language of the people of any part of this 

22. N. N. Law: "Promotion of Learning in India during Muhammadan Rule," pp. 107-110. 


country, they have both a common language of speech and inter- 
course whose literature in some parts is quite rich and extensive, 
irrespective of their religious faith, although this common language 
differs from province to province or territorially. 

If Hindi and Urdu are different languages, the one of the 
Hindus and the other of the Muslims, and if after the partition of 
India* into Hindu and Muslim zones, each zone is free to develop 
itself on the lines considered best by itself subject to provision of 
safeguards for the protection of the rights of the minorities includ- 
ing their language, what large and inspiring future can Urdu have, 
since it will not be the language of the people of any Muslim zone 
and will have either to be forced or at least supported and nurtured 
as an exotic in the North- Western and Eastern zones (of neither 
of which it is the spoken language) and will only be protected as 
the language of a minority in the Central zone where non-Muslims 
(who ex hjpothesi have a different language) predominate ? 

If also they are really two separate languages let them be deve- 
loped on their own independent lines leaving a common language 
which is loaded neither with pure Sanskrit nor pure Arabic and 
Persian words to grow and prosper as a national language for the 
whole country. 

IV. Art 

Among arts the most important are architecture, sculpture, 
painting, music and dancing. Each of these had. like Sanskrit and 
some provincial literatures, attained high development in India 
before the arrival of the Musalmans. It was therefore not to be 
expected that they would be absorbed by corresponding Muslim 
arts and this is just what happened. They assimilated whatever 
was suitable an$ -assimilable and like the language of northern 
India developed a sort of new synthesis and in fact in some respects 
great-ly influenced Islamic culture. 


Indian architecture of the Muslim period differs considerably 
from that of the Hindu or Buddhistic period in Indian history. But 
it cannot be said to be altogether an exotic brought from outside 
and planted in a foreign environment. It is hard to imagine that 
Hindu architects and skilled artisans had absolutely no., hand in 
the building of the Taj or that Muslim workers had nothing to do 
with the building of Hindu temples erected during the Muslim 
period. In northern India today it is very largely Muslim masons 
and workmen who are employed in building not only houses of 
Hindus but also their temples. Experts and specialists in archi- 
tecture have pointed out the special features representing a combi- 
nation of Hindu and Muslim art in pome of the most famous pieces 


of architecture of the Muslim period. 

The buildings erected by the Musalmans for religious, civil, 
or military purposes were not purely Muslim-Syrio-Egyptian, Per- 
sian or Central Asian, nor were the Hindu buildings, temples or 
palaces or cenotaphs purely Hindu. The simple severity of the 
Muslim architecture was toned down, and the plastic exuberance 
of the Hindu was restrained. The craftsmanship, ornamental rich- 
ness and general design remained largely Hindu ; the arcuated 
form, plain-domes, smooth-faced walls, and spacious interiors were 
Muslim super-impositions. The artistic quality of the buildings 
erected since the thirteenth century whether by Hindus or by Mus- 
lims is the same, although differences are introduced by considera- 
tions of purpose and use, and styles are varied according to diffe- 
rences of local traditions and regional peculiarities. 

' " In all the Indian Mohammedan styles of Furgusson's 
academic classification at Delhi, Ajmer, Agra, Gaur, Malwa, Gttj- 
rat, Jaunpur and Bjjapur whether the local rulers were Arab, 
Pathan, Turk, Persian, Mongol or Indian, the form and construc- 
tion of the domes of mosques and tombs and palaces as well 'as the 
Hindu symbols which crown them; the mihrabs made to simulate 
Hindu shrines; the arches Hinduised often in construction, in 
form nearly always ; the symbolism which underlies the decorative 
and structural designs all these tell us plainly that to the Indian 
builders the sect of the Prophet of Mecca was only one of the many 
which made up the synthesis of Hinduism; they could be good 
Mohammedans but yet remain Hindus/' 23 Havell has so brilliantly 
sustained this thesis in his work on Indian art that it is hardly 
necessary to expatiate upon it/ 24 The influence of the style spread 
in the eighteenth century to all parts of India. Even far-off Nepal 
did not escape the contagion/ 25 The palaces, cenotaphs and 
temples of the nineteenth century, whether built in the west at 
Jamnagar, or the east at Calcutta or in the Punjab by the Sikhs or 
in Central India by the Jains are all in the same style of the Hindu- 
Muslim architecture/ 26 'And not only did this Hindu-Muslim style 
become dominant in the monumental art of India but it also acquir- 
ed the same hold over all utilitarian architecture houses, streets, 
landings and bathing places (ghats)/ 27 The residential house of 
a Hindu docs not differ in construction and plan from that of a 
Muslim, although there are considerable differences due to climate 
between the houses of otie province and another. 


Sculpture is an art which was highly developed in India on 
account of the importance and prevalence of images and idols for 

23. Havell: "Indian Architecture," p. 101. 24. Tarachand, op. cit, pp. 243-4. 
25. ibid., p. 255, 26. ibid., p. 256. 27. ibid,, p. 257. *,*. 


Hindu temples. Idols and images and their worship are condemned 
by Islam and it was therefore not developed in Islamic countries 
and has had practically no effect on Indian sculpture, although 
'following the example of Persian Kings, the Muslim Rulers of 
India, especially the Great Moghals, sought the aid of the sculptor's 
(quite as much as of the painter's) art for the beautification of their 
buildings, palaces and pleasances/ 28 


Painting of human figures and music, especially instrumental 
music and dancing are also not encouraged by Islam, if they are not 
tabooed. It is in painting and music that a most far-reaching assi- 
milation between Hindu and Muslim arts has taken place, and that 
notwithstanding Islam's attitude of indifference, if not of" positive 
discouragement to them. 'The art of painting did not receive the 
attention and encouragement which other arts did at the hands 
of the early Muslim kings of India. This was njainly because it was 
tabooed in the early days of Islam on accoufit of its close association 
with idolatry. It was only occasionally that the Muslim kings and 
nobles broke away from the general convention and practised this 
art, but in view of the fact that a large number of Hindus among 
whom painting had long been popular, had embraced Islam, but 
had not given lip their old habits and hobbies altogether, it may 
reasonably be conceded that the art was not neglected by the then 
Muslims of India quite as much as it is believed to have been. A 
large majority of the new Muslims and their descendants must have 
resorted to it, and the Muslims who came from outside and had 
imbibed Persian ideas and inspiration must also have pursued this 
art though not quite so zealously and with the same object as their 
contemporary Hmdus did. Thus it appears that while the rulers 
were indifferent, if not actually averse to it, the people in general 
cultivated it to a great extent. 

The Mughals, however, stood on a different footing. They 
had their own ideas about art, which they loved and patronized in 
all its forms and phases. Babar brought with him all the choicest 
specimens of painting which he was able to obtain from the library 
of his ancestors the Timurids who were noted for their love of 
and proficiency in the art of paifiting. These specimens were trea- 
sured by the Mughal Emperors of India as their most precious ami 
proud possessions.' 29 

Tre-Muslim Indian paintings Hindu, Jain, or Buddhist- 
have a character of their own. The vision of reality which inspires 
them and gives significance to their form is Jheir own. They are 
the aesthetic expression of a culture which grew out of the synthesis 

28, 8. M. Jaffar : "Cultural Aspects of Muslim Rule in India," p. 110. 

29. ibid., pp. 125-6. 


of the racial experience, a synthesis which implies a balance 
between opposing tendencies joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, 
success and failure, wordliness and other-worldliness, attachment 
to life and renunciation of life, domination by sense and control of 
sense, ambition, activity and passion, and satisfaction, passivity 
and calm serenity. . . . The frescoes of Ajanta are almost the only 
surviving remains of the Indian art as it was practised in the ancient 
period. . . . Scholars have discovered references to the art in the pre- 
Christian literature, for instance, in the Vinaya Pitaka and in later 
Hindu poetry, Mahabharat, Ramayana, Sakuntala and so forth. 
There are actual fragments of paintings belonging to great anti- 
quity existing in various caves, but the only adequate remains which 
truly reflect the character of the art which at one time was spread 
widely all over India and was extremely prolific in its output, are 
found at Ajanta. The paintings adorn the ceilings and walls of the 
temples excavated out of living rock. . . They were excavated dur- 
ing the first six centuries of the Christian era. . . . The wealth of 
kings and merchant princes must have been poured out in order to 
create the works in which both ambition and piety were satisfied. 730 
' When Babar conquered India the star of Bihzad was in its 
zenith, his style was the standard of perfection ; naturally the con- 
noisseurs of art, Babar and his companions, and afterwards on the 
return of Humayun from his enforced exile from Persia to India, 
the Chaghtai nobles set Bihzad before Indian painters as the master 
in whose footstep they should follow and whose paintings they 
should copy. Bihzad and his school thus became the exemplars of 
Indian painters and the elements of the Timuride School were 
engrafted upon the traditions of Ajanta: The character of this art 
is its intense individualism. This art is not interested in masses 
and crowds, it has hardly any direct interest in Composition. It sees 
things limned in clear light and in definite outline, it looks at every 
detail of the individual figure and takes infinite pains with' it, it 
feels the urge of life with tremendous force and it communicates 
this passionate energy to what it delineates/ 31 'As in the case of 
Ajanta so here the line is the medium of expression. Yet what a 
vast difference between the character of the two lines! . . . The 
elements which combine to make these paintings are very different 
from those found in the work of Ajanta. 132 The meeting of those 
two art^ consciousnesses under the fostering care of the Mughal 
emperors was productive of a new style. Upon the plasticity of 
Ajanta were imposed the new laws of symmetry, proportion and 
spacing from Samarqand and Herat^ To the old pomp new splen- 
dours were added, and to the old free and easy naivete of life a new 
sense of courtly correctness and rigid etiquette. In the result a 
certain amount of the energy and dynamic of both the Hindu and 

30. Tarachand, op cit, pp. 258-9. Sl.ribid., pp. 265-6. 32. ibid,, p. 268. 


Muslim were sacrificed, and a stiff dignity was acquired, but along 
with it a marvellous richness of colour and subtlety of line. The 
evolution of the new style was rapid. Probably Babar introduced 
the models of the Timuride School to the Hindu and Muslim artists 
of India at Agra. ... It is interesting to find even in this early 
school called the school of Humayun by Clarke an unmistakable 
Indian feeling. . .The later artists of Akbar must have been train- 
ed in this school, probably under the four Muslim masters mention- 
ed by Abul Fazl Furrukh Qalmak, Abdus Samad of Shiraz, Mir 
Syyid AH of Tabriz and Miskin. The pupils who were Hindus were 
in all likelihood painters who had acquired proficiency in 
traditional methods and were possessed of sufficient repute to 
be summoned to the Imperial Court. They had only to transfer 
their talents to the services of their new masters and paint the 
pictures that pleased them. This explains why so early irrAkbarV 
reign the new Hindu-Muslim school made its appearance fully 
developed. The names of Das want, Basawan, Keso Lai, Mukuncl, 
Maclho, Jagannath, Mahes, Khem Karan, Tara, Senwalah, Han- 
bans and Ram are recorded in the Ain-i-Akbari. Many other Hindu 
names' 4 appear on the paintings of the period.. . .Among the illus- 
trations of the manuscripts now preserved in the Khuda Bakhsh 
Library at Bankipur occur the names of Tulsi, Surjan, Surdas, Isar, 
Sankar, Ram Asr, Banwali, Nand, Nanha, Jagjivan, Dharmadas, 
Narayan, Chata'rman, Suraj, Deojiva, Saran, Ganga Singh, Paras, 
Dhanna, Bhim, etc. In some cases the place from which the artists 
came is denoted and it is interesting to find only Gwalior, Gujarat 
and Kashmir mentioned. These then were pre-eminently centres 
of Hindu culture during the early medieval period, and the fact 
that the painters of Akbar came from these places confirms the 
tradition that the Hindu art continued to flourish after Ajanta; it 
also clearly establishes the contention that the Mughal art was not 
altogether an offshoot of Central Asian and Persian styles, but a 
development of the ancient art under new impulses/ 33 

'Of this Hindu-Muslim style, related , on the one hand 
with the mural art of Ajanta, and with the true miniature painting 
of Samarqand and Herat on the other, there were many offshoots 
differing in their character as they approached the one or the other 
pole of this style. The Rajput and Pahacli styles of Jaipur, Kangra 
and the iTindu states of the Hinlalayan hills had a greater inclina- 
tion towards the ancient Hindu ; the Qalams of the Deccart, Luck-r 
now, Kashmir, Patna gravitated more towards the Muslim;, the 
Sikh Qalam was somewhere between them. They are all, however, 
sub-styles derived from the parent stock which is the style of the 
Court at Delhi or Agra/ 34 

Mr P. C. Manuk of Patna who is the proud possessor of a most 

33. Tarsfehand, op. cit, pp. 268-271. $4. ibid., t. 272. 


valuable collection of Indian paintings and is himself no mean con- 
noisseur, in a paper on Pictorial Art of India, after dealing with 
the development of the art of painting in the Mughal period, says : 
'To the orthodox Mohammedan the depicting of the human figure 
or anything that had life was declared "haram" or sinful by the 
edicts of his religion the old Mosaic law "Thou shalt not make 
unto thyself any graven image" carried to its extreme interpreta- 
tion. True, under the enlightened Shah Abbas of Persia and the 
liberal early Mughals, the followers of Mahomed broke away from 
these edicts, but wonderful as their productions are in the delight 
they give to the eye and senses, they rarely appeal to the soul. No 
such prohibition stood in the way of their Hindu disciples and col- 
leagues to whom their Gods and Goddesses were very real beings, 
assuming traditional shapes and forms and this may be the reason 
why the Hindu artist was more able to appeal by his productions 
to the soul of man, which is after all the supreme test of high art. 
It must be remembered that Art and Religion have been closely 
connected for long ages and most of the masterpieces of the Euro- 
pean Renaissance depict religious subjects or quasi-religious sub- 
jects culled from the mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome.' 35 


Modern Indian music owes not a little to Islamic influence and 
inspiration and although it was a highly and art 
in India and was not encouraged by orthodox Islam it is a structure 
of Hindu and Muslim contribution, with a base which is Hindu 
and with decorations and fringes which are the result of a synthesis. 
If a history of the origin and development of the very numerous 
musical instruments were to be written I doubt not that many of 
them will be found to owe their present form and perfection to joint 
efforts of both Hindus and Muslims, the contribution of Muslims 
being very considerable in many cases and even exclusive in some. 
Similarly the modern rags and raginis have also been developed in 
course of time with considerable contributions by Muslim artists. 

'In the early clays of Islam music suffered in the same way as 
painting, not so much on the same ground but probably because it 
tended to dominate the human mind so much as to render it incapa- 
ble of thinking of anything else.. . .It was perhaps on account of 
its too powerful attractions that music was discouraged in the 
beginning. Despite this discouragement, however, human nature 
proved too strong and the art began to be cultivated in the same 
way and with the same if not greater zeal as painting. The contact 
of Islam with Iran, where music was most popular, and the in- 
fluence of Sufis (Muslim mystics) who believed in the efficacy of 
music as a means of elevating the soul and as an aid to spiritual 

35. "The Searchlight," Patna- Anniversary Number, 1926, p. 15. 


progress, brought about a great change in the attitude of Mugai* 
mans towards this art and went a long way in wiping off the stigma 
attached to it. The position was further simplified when^Musalmans 
settled down in India and found music occupying a high place in 
th6*scheme of Hindu social and religious life. The result was that 
though divine service in mosques continued to be performed on 
orthodox lines, without aid of music, either vocal or instrumental, 
the art became so popular tjiat musicians began to lodm large on 
almost all festive occasions. The Sufi's fondness for music brought 
into vogue the practice of holding semi-religious congregations 
where songs of divine love called Qawwalis were sung by profes- 
sional singers called Qawwals.' 80 'Music in short was most popular 
in Muslim India more than we are led to believe. One reason for 
its popularity may be found in the fact that a vast majority of 
Indian Muslims were originally Hindus or offsprings ok Hindus, 
who were too fond of it to give it up after embracing Islam, with 
the result that the art imperceptibly permeated Muslim ranks and 
became widely popular. It may also be noted t here that music, like 
other fine arts, opened a new channel of 'intercourse between the 
Hindfts and Muslims of India. The process of co-operation and 
intermutation began right from the advent of Muslims in India and 
it was distinctly manifest how the two communities borrowed from 
each other the precious stores they possessed and thus enriched 
each other/ 37 

The sister art of music obtained also a great encouragement 
from the Emperor and reached a high excellence in his reign. There 
were numerous musicians at his court Hindus, Iranis, Turanis, 
Kashmiris, both men and women.... The world renowned singer 
Mian Tansen, a Hindu convert to Islam whose tomb at Gwalior 
has become a place of pilgrimage to the Indian musicians, was a 
court singer of Ajsfear. There flourished at the time the great singer 
Haridas, the master of Tansen and Ramdas, the second Tansen 
who hailed from Lucknow and received, it is said, on one occasion 
a present of a lakh of rupees from Khan-i-Kj^anan. . . .At the time 
of Akbar the art of music reached i'ts noonday splendour. The 
vocal music with its various rags and raginis many of which have 
now been forgotten for want of cultivation received a good deal of 
attention, while instrumental music with its various musical instru- 
ments was equally cared for. In the domain of music it is very per- 
ceptible how the Hindus and the Muhammadans were borrowing 
from one another, each community enrrching the other with the 
precious store it possessed. This process of intermixture was not 
new in the time of Akbar but dated from a long time back. The 
history of Indian music after the advent of the Muhammadans 
unfolds a chapter of co-operation and interc6urse between the two 

36. Jaffar, op. cit, pp. 155-6. 37. ibid., pp. 164-5. 


communities socially and politically. Kheyal, for instance, which is 
associated with the name of Sultan Husain Sharqui of Jaunpur as 
its inventor has become an important limb of Hindu music, while 
Dhrupad has engrafted itself on Muhammadan music; the state of 
Indian music in former times no less than its present eclectic condi- 
tion testifies a good deal to this intermixture taking place through 
centuries.. ..It was not merely the Emperor or the chiefs of the 
Provinces who turned their attention to this fine art but the nobles 
also entertained themselves and their families by this means of 
diversion.' 88 'Shah Jahan was a great patron of Music and, it 
seems, could himself sing well. His two great singers were Ramdas 
and Mahapattar/ 

If a complete list of the best living exponents of the art were 
made there would doubtless figure on it Musalmans whose number 
would, perhaps, be larger than their proportion in the total popu- 
lation and perhaps also larger than that conceded to Musalmans for 
representation in Legislatures. A casual visit to any respectable 
music conference which has been convened by people who know 
something of the art and the living artists in India will give to the 
sceptic the most convincing proof of the amalgam which may in 
one word be called Indian culture as represented by Indian music 
as distinguished from any communal or parochial music, if this last 
at all exists in any part of India. 

Summarizing the effort of intercourse between Hindus and 
Muslims, Mr S. M. Jaffar writes in his book Some Cultural Aspects of 
Muslim Rule in India : 

'The Musalmans who came into India made it their permanent 
abode and naturalised in it. For them it was'impossible to live in 
the land of the Hindus in a state of perennial hostility. Living to- 
gether led to mutual intercourse and mutual understanding. In 
course of time the force of circumstances compelled them to find 
out a via media whereby to live together as friendly neighbours. 
They evolved out a new language out of the warp and woof of 
Persian and Sanskrit and the current of common culture, Hindu- 
Muslim, abandoned its ancient beds and began to flow through this 
new channel, Urdu. The culture that was thus evolved was neither 
purely Muslim nor exclusively Hindu but a happy union of both. 
The Muslim Kings and Chiefs encouraged Hindu arts and litera- 
ture, sciences and philosophy, and opened the doors of their schools 
and seminaries to all and sundry without any restrictions of rank, 
race, or religion. Like Saints and Sages they, too, in their own 
spheres tried to bring about an approximation between the Hindus 
and Muslims. The result was an almost complete reconciliation of 

38. Law, op. cit, pp. 155-8. 

39. ibid., p. 183. 


the two. It need not occasion surprise, therefore, if the Hindus 
offered sweets at Muslim shrines, consulted the Quran as an oracle, 
kept its copies to ward off evil influence, and celebrated Muslim 
feasts and the Musalmans responded with similar acts. . . . Since 
a vast majority of Indian Muslims were drawn from the masses of 
the Hindus, their social position and culture did not change all at 
once, though they undoubtedly improved in many ways. They had 
changed their religion no doubt but they still retained their ancient 
customs and practices, habits and hobbies. The change of religion 
did not change their environments and atmosphere which were per- 
meated through and through with social isolation, superstitious 
ideas and caste restrictions. The result was the Indo-Muslim 
society which incorporated a number of Hindu social features/ 40 

Culture is a most complex thing and its contents are as difficult 
to define as those of a nation. Yet one born and brought up in a 
particular culture cannot fail to distinguish it from any other. And 
even within the same cultural zone or group there may be sub-zones 
or sub-groups and yet belong to and form partof the same culture. 

Any culture which represents the result of a combination of 
varyifig and even conflicting social, religious and other forces that 
go to create a*culture cannot fail to have such sub-groups or sub- 
zones. That does not negate the existence of the over-all culture 
which belongs to all the sub-groups or sub-zones any more than 
that of the sub-groups or sub-zones themselves. Whenever we have 
to compare one culture with another the right method would be 
to compare the over-all culture of one group or zone with that of 
another and not to compare the sub-groups or sub-zones as among 
themselves. They of course differ among themselves and still have 
many things in common which distinguish them from any other 
culture. The Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs of India 
differ as among thbmselves in many respects and yet they all have 
something in common which distinguishes them from a foreigner, 
say a'European. To any one who doubts this proposition, the posi- 
tion of Indians in British Colonies, Protectorates and Dominions 
ought to furnish a complete and unrebuttable refutation of the 
claim that Hindus and Muslims of India represent two altogether 
different cultures. To the South African or Australian or Canadian 
European or to the European in Kenya the Indian, irrespective of 
the fact whether he is a Hindu or Mttsalman or Sikh or Parsi or 
Christian, is the same person who has to be kept in his place and 
not allowed to defile European culture or lower its standard of 
living. Not only is that the case with the Indian who belongs to a 
subject race and can therefore be dealt with as an inferior person. 
Even the Chinese who are an independent people, and the Japanese, 
who until World War II were regarded with the greatest consi- 

40. Jaffer, op. cit., pp. 206-7. 


deration if not respect, could not escape similar treatment at the 
hands of these custodians of European culture and standard of liv- 
ing in both the Hemispheres. That discrimination has been based 
on difference in culture of Asia and Europe. It is thus clear that in 
spite of all differences and distinctions that exist between Hindus 
and Muslims it is idle to deny that both have laboured and lived to 
develop a joint culture which is the Indian culture and which at 
once distinguishes an Indian from any foreigner coming from the 
West or the East, whether from other continents and countries of 
the Old World or the New World. With the long history of asso- 
ciation and joint enterprises in works of war no less than in those 
of peace, it could not in the very nature of things be otherwise. If 
two independent saplings of mango have been joined together or 
if one sapling has been grafted on a branch of another tree the result 
is an improved variety of the fruit that the tree bears. It is wrong 
and cruel to tear them asunder, and what is even more important to 
bear in mind, it is not easy either to do so after such a long lapse of 
time in the course of. which the new tree has weathered many a 
storm and gained strength and cohesion in the process. If the 
attempt succeeds it can do so at the expense of both, making each 
weaker aqd more exposed to danger and attack from all sides. 

V. One Country 

There is a great variety in climate and physical Contours of the 
country in India which extends from the cold snow-clad mountains 
of the Himalayan Range in the North to a point almost near the 
equator in the South. We have also a large inland space which is 
altogether cut off from the sea, while we have a coast-line of some 
four thousand miles. We have the deserts of Rajputana and Sind 
and the evergreen plains of Bengal and Assam. We have an im- 
mense record of annual rainfall both in the north-eastern Province 
of Assam and in the south-western spurs of the Western Ghats ; 
and against this we have practically no regular rainfall wort'h the 
name in the deserts of Rajputana and Sind and some parts of the 
Ceded Districts of Andhra. We have also extremes of cold and heat 
at some places inland, particularly in the Punjab and N.-W.F.P. 
and no winter or summer properly so called on the sea-coast in the 
southern portions of the Peninsula. As in so many other matters, 
this variety and difference in climatic and topographical conditions 
does not. coincide with any division of the population on religious 
or communal lines. The cold and arid North- West and the wet, 
tempestuous and evergreen East and North-East differ from each' 
other in every climatic and topographical respect, but they have 
bpth^a very large Muslim population which enables a demand for 
division of India on communal basis to be made. 

All this variety in climate and toooerraohv has had its effect 


on the development of the people inhabiting the different parts, on 
their dress and the kind of houses in which they live, on many of 
the social customs, and on their life generally. But ; n spite of these 
differences India is one whole country designed by nature to be 
separated from other adjoining countries by almost insurmountable 
natural barriers like high mountains and seas. Every invader, con- 
queror and Emperor of India, whether during the Hindu period 
or Musalrnan rule, has accordingly attempted with varying success 
to extend his empire to the whole of this country. It has been the 
ambition of every ruler to bring the whole of it under his suzerainty 
if not under his direct rule. There has been a certain region in the 
north-western corner which has always been a sort of no-man's 
land, changing its rulers, now being under an Indian ruler and now 
under an outsider or non-Indian. The British Government has only 
followed the age-old practice of the Hindu Chakravartis and Mus- 
lim Emperors in gaining suzerainty over the whole of this country. 
There have been kingdoms just as there are provinces now, which 
sometimes quarrelled with one another. But* there is no evidence 
that any one living* in or ruling one of those kingdoms regarded 
himself as anything but an Indian and his part of the country as 
anything but a pcirt of India as distinguished from, say, China or 
Persia or Turkistan or Arabia or even perhaps Burma. On the 
other hand every Hindu who performs his sandhya has to repeat 
a sloka in the sankalpa in which he pictures the country as a whole 
and imagines the waters of the Sindhu, the Ganga, and the Cauvery 
to be mingled together in the water of his small water pot. And 
this has gone on not only during the period of Hindu rule when 
occasionally a Chakravarti claimed suzerainty over the whole 
country but also during the period when there were different kings 
uiling in different parts of the country, when Muslim Emperors 
ruled at Delhi and when small Muslim kingdoms were established 
in different parts of the country. It is repeated even today when 
British suzerainty spreads over the whole Peninsula. There are 
four places of pilgrimage which are known as the four Dhams, a 
.visit to which is said to earn the greatest virtue for n Hindu. They 
are : Rameshwaram in the southern tip of the Peninsula, Badrik- 
ashrama deep in the Himalayas at a height of some 15,000 feet, 
Jagannath Puri on the east coast in Orissa, and Dwarka on the 
western sea-coast in Kathiawar. / It cannot be denied that irres- 
pective of who ruled and what were the administrative or political 
divisions of the country, the Hindus have never conceived of India 
as comprising anything less than what we regard as India today. 1 
The Muslim and British rulers have simply accepted the Hindu' 
traditional delimitation of the country. 

On the other hand until the two nations theory was proclaimed 
the other day, the Musalmans also never treated or thought of any 


part of v present-clay India as anything but a part and parcel of 
India. JSTo Muslim conqueror of India ever thought of annexing 
any part of India to the foreign country from which he came. > Who- 
ever was able settled down in India and tried to bring the portions 
of India which did not accept his suzerainty under his sway. The 
fact that on the border there was a fringe which fell on the one or 
the other side of the natural boundary line does not in any way 
affect the validity and correctness -of the above statement. 

Not only as rulers but even during the period of British Rule 
Musalmans of British India no less than those of the Indian States 
never until the other day treated or claimed any part of the soil of 
India as anything but a part of India. I do not know if even the 
Muslim League claims that the north-western and eastern zones 
which it desires to have constituted into independent States are 
outside India or as being anything but parts of India. So far as I 
am aware, Mr C. Rahmat Ali, who is the Founder President of the 
Pakistan National Movement, is the only person who has openly 
proclaimed that ' to 'accept the territorial unity of " India " is to 
fasten the tyrannical yoke of " Indianism " on the " Millat "/ and 
has called upon his co-religionists ' to live to sever all ties with 
" India " and to save the " Millat " from " Indianism " and to serve 
" Pax-Islamica ". J4 \! He falls foul of the All-India Muslim League 
for its name' for its very name bears the stamp of v " Indianism " 
and so belies our struggle against " Indianism ". "it breeds the 
spirit of " Indianism " and thus betrays our Millat to " Indianism " 
Let us not minimise the effect and importance of names. They are 
the distinguishing marks ; and, as such, establish the identities of 
their bearers. More than that, they are the moral symbols ; and 

as symbols, the sources of inspiration The mistake has certainly 

cost us dear. It has compromised our nationality, labelled us as 
" Indian ". I say this, not because there is anything- wrong with the 
word " Indian " which, in itself, is as respectable as any other name; 
but because we are not "Indian", and therefore, for us to style our- 
selves or our institutions as " Indian ", is nothing but an act of 
renegation.' 42 Mr Rahmat Ali after the realization of this fact gave 
the ' five north-western strongholds ' of Islam the name of Pakistan 
in I933> and in 1937 to Bengal-Assam the name of Bang-i-Islam and 
to Hyderabad-Deccan the name of 4 Usmanistan, the three regions 
which he regards as the three Milli strongholds arbitrarily included 
in the bmational sub-continent of ' India '. 48 So it is only since 
1933 .that India has begun to be treated as a sub-continent com- 
prising different countries by Mr Rahmat Ali and the Pakistan 
National Movement. I do not know if there is any other organiza- 

41. 'The Millat of Islam and the Menace of " lidianism " '-being a letter addressed by 
C. Rahmat Ali to the Supreme Council of the Pakistan National Movement p ? 

42. ibid,, p. 15. 43. ibid., pp. 1 and 16. 


tion or individual of note who has followed his lead in this respect 
up to now. 4 Divisions for administrative purposes may be made but 
I do not know if countries have been or can be created by men in 
this way. Whenever an attempt has been made in Europe to cut up 
a country the result has been a legacy of hate and bitterness result- 
ing in sanguinary wars, including the global one that has just been 
devastating the world. That ought to furnish us a lesson and serve 
us as a warning. 

VI. One History 

The invasions of India by Muslims started with the landing 
of Mohammad Bin Kasim on the shores of Sind in the ninth century 
A.D. and went on till the eighteenth century when Ahmad Shah 
Abdali made his last assault. It is doubtful if any ona of these 
invasions extending over about eight or nine hundred years was a 
purely religious invasion undertaken by religious fanatics or enthu- 
siasts for spreading Islam. Like all conquests they were actuated 
by temporal and material motives rather than by religious zeal. 
The ^arliest ones were naturally resisted by the Hindus who alone 
then inhabited t the country, and took the shape of conflicts between 
the Hindus and Musalmans. But from early times the ambition of 
these invaders was to settle down in India, and from the time of 
Shahabuddin ,phori in the eleventh century downwards Musalman 
invaders whether they were Pathans, Tartars', Turks, Mughals or 
Afghans who came from outside India assumed suzerainty over 
parts of India and in course of time extended the area of their suze- 
rainty. As their kingdom extended it became difficult, if not im- 
possible, to rule the whole of it from Delhi, their capital seat, and 
they had to appoint governors in the more distant parts. These 
governors were npt slow to take advantage of any weakening of 
the Centre and to establish themselves as independent kings in the 
provinces to which they had been posted. We thus have two kinds 
of war in the long history of Muslim rule in India. There were wars 
by the Muslim kings to extend their kingdom, and in the earlier 
period they were naturally against Hindus who still ruled in the 
parts sought to be conquered and annexed to Delhi. But it was not 
long before independent Muslim kingdoms had grown up and many 
of the wars which the Muslim Emperors of Delhi had to wage and 
many of the expeditions which they had to lead were not against 
Hindu kings but against Muslim kings who had established them- 
selves, or against their own governors who had revolted. In 'these 
wars and expeditions Hindus fought on both sides. All the Muslim 
invaders who came from the North-West after the Ghoris had to 
and in fact did invade a Muslim kingdom in India and had to and 
did figty and defeat a Muslim ruler who had established himself 
on the throne at Delhi. The invasions of Timur and Nadir Shah 


were not against Hindu kings but against Muslim kings of Delhi 
and were resisted by them. Babar had to fight and defeat not a 
Hindu king of Delhi but Ibrahim Lodi, a Muslim king, at the battle 
of Panipat, before he could establish the Mughal Empire. When 
Babar fought Rana Sanga of Mewar the latter was assisted not only 
by Rajputs but also by Hassan Khan of Mewat and Sultan Maho- 
mud Lodi, a son of Sikandar Lodi, who had been acknowledged 
king of Delhi by Sanga and it was after defeating- this combined 
force of Rajputs and Musalmans at the battle of Kanwah in 1527 
that his empire became established. Humayun, the son of Babar, 
lost the Empire for a time to Sher Shah, a Muslim Pathan, and 
when it was recovered after Shcr Shah's death, Akbar after him 
had to fight Muslim rulers for strengthening the foundations of 
that Empire. Much of the time and energy of the Mughal Empe- 
rors from Akbar right down to Aurangzeb was taken up in sup- 
pressing the revolts of Muslim Governors of Provinces or in con- 
quering independent Muslim kingdoms. It is well known how 
Aurangzeb spent many years in the South conquering the King- 
doms of Bijapur and Golkoncla and that he died there. Many of 
these expeditions and wars were led on behalf of the Emperors at 
Delhi by Hindu generals like Man Singh and Bhagwandas in the 
time of Akbar and by Jaswant Singh and Jay Singh in the time of 
Aurangzeb, conquering and suppressing not only Muslim rulers and 
governors but also fiindus who were ruling at the time in parts of 
the country. It is thus clear that the wars and expeditions of India 
and in India during the long period of Muslim rule were actuated 
by the same temporal and mundane motives which have actuated 
all wars and conquests at all times, viz. personal ambition, dynastic 
rivalries and a desire to extend and consolidate an Empire, and 
acquire the honour and glory which conquest and empire are sup- 
posed to confer. 

The history of India for 600 years beginning with the* thir- 
teenth century when Qutbuddin Aibak established the Sultanate in 
1206 down to the end of the eighteenth century when the British 
power had succeeded in firmly establishing itself is therefore not a 
history of continuous conflictand wars between Hindus on the one 
side and Muslims on the other. This is not the place nor is there 
space here to show that during this long period there were more 
conflicts between Muslims and Muslims in India than between 
Muslims and Hindus. Only a bird's eye view may be attempted. 

The period may be divided into two parts, the first covering 
the period when the Sultans reigned at Delhi and the second the 
period of the Mughal rule. The first saw not only the establishment 
of Muslim rule in India and its expansion covering practically the 
whole length and breadth of tti country from the foot of the Hima- 


layas down to Rameshwaram and from the western frontier to the 
east coast of Orissa and Bengal, but also the establishment and 
growth of a number of small independent or semi-independent 
kingdoms under Muslim rulers. There were also changes of ruling 
dynasties at Delhi. The Sultans of Delhi were most of the time 
busy not only conquering portions of India from Hindus but also 
suppressing the rebellions of their own subordinates, sometimes 
trying to reconquer what the latter had converted into independent 
kingdoms and sometimes trying to defend their own position on 
the throne. Between 1193 and 1526 there sat on the throne of Delhi 
no less than 35 Sultans belonging to no less than five dynasties. 
Each of these dynasties professed Islam and each was replaced in 
its turn by another Muslim dynasty. Of the 35 monarchs who sat 
on the throne no less than 19 or a majority were killed or assassi- 
nated not by Hindus but by Musalmans. 

Among the independent or semi-independent kingdoms which 
grew up may be mentioned Bengal, Jaunpur, Gujerat, Malwa, 
Khandesh, and the Bahmani kingdom which was split up into five 
kingdoms of Berar, Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golkonda and Bidar. 
Each of these kingdoms had an independent history of its own 
a history of wars with other neighbouring Muslim kingdoms and 
with the King of Delhi, if occasionally also with Hindu Rajas who 
still held sway in parts of the country. 

The Indian Muslim rulers had also to meet attacks on India by 
Musalmans who came time after time from the North- West, so 
much so that from the time of Allauddin onwards a sort of frontier 
fortifications with special arrangements for meeting invasions from 
that side had to be maintained. 

After Babar had defeated Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in 1526 and 
laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire, the throne of Delhi was 
no bed of roses for his successors. His son Humayun had to fight 
his own brother Kamran, who n<ft content with Kabul and Qanda- 
har captured Lahore and brought the whole of the Punjab under 
his sway. Humayun had also to fight his other brothers, Hindal 
and Mirza Askari. Hindal was killed in a fight, Kamran was taken 
prisoner and deprived of his eyesight. Askari was captured but 
allowed to proceed to Mecca. , 

Humayun had to be constantly fighting to retain his position 
in Upper India. He had to lead a fight against Bahadur Shah of 
Gujerat but was unable to hold Gujerat on account of the revolt of 
Sher Khan, Afghan chief of Bihar to whom he ultimately lost the 
throne of Delhi and was a fugitive outside India seeking- the helo 
of the Shah of Persia. * 

Shgr Shah was followed on the throne by his son Salim Shah, 
who, unable to control the Afghan nobles, had to imprison or put to 


<death several of them. The governor of the Punjab rebelled but 
y/as defeated, and fled to Kashmir where he was killed. 

Salim Shah was succeeded by his son Firoz Khan who was 
soon murdered by his maternal uncle Mubariz Khan who ascended 
the throne under the title of Muhammad Shah. His affairs were 
managed by a Hindu named Hemu. Rebellions of nobles broke 
out and Delhi and Agra were seized by Ibrahim Sur who was 
defeated by Sikandar Sur. Humayun who had been waiting for an 
opportunity, taking advantage of the chaotic condition of Hindu- 
stan advanced with an army and defeated Sikandar Sur at Sirhind 
and got back his throne in 1555 and died soon after. 

Akbar succeeded Humayun. His younger brother Muham- 
mad Hakim remained in possession of Kabul which was nominally 
regarded, as a dependency of Hindustan. Akbar v;as young and 
under the guardianship of Bairam Khan. His first serious danger 
came from the Surs whose Hindu minister Hemu had marched on 
Delhi and inflicted a defeat on the Mughal General Farid Beg who 
was put to death by* Bairam Khan for his incompetence. Hemu 
after his victory assumed the title of Vikramaditya and made^a bid 
for the Empire but was defeated at Panipat and taken prisoner and 
put to death by Bairam Khan. Sikandar Sair thereafter also sur- 
rendered and the sovereignty of the Sur dynasty came to an end 

in 1556. 

Akbar became impatient of the tutelage of Bairam Khan and 
in this he was encouraged by his mother Hamida Begum and 
Maham Ankah, his foster-mother and her son Adham Khan. Akbar 
dismissed Bairam Khan in 1560 who submitted and started for 
Mecca. Suspecting that he might rebel, Akbar sent a force under 
Pir Muhammad to hasten his departure. Being thus annoyed he 
rebelled and proceeded towards the Punjab followed by Akbar him- 
self. He ultimately submitted and in recognition of his past ser- 
vices was allowed by Akbar to proceed again to Mecca. On the 
way he was murdered by a private enemy at Patan in Gujerat. 

Akbar's generals Pir Muhammad and Adham Khan conquered 
Malwa from the Muslim king of that place with much cruelty. 

Akbar had to suppress t t he rebellions (i) of Abdullah Khan 
Uzbeg who had superseded Pir Muhammad in Malwa, (2) of Khan 
Zaman who had revolted in Jaunpo^e and (3) of his brother Mirza 
Hakim who, encouraged by Uzbegs, claimed the throne. Akbar 
irtarched' towards the Punjab and Hakim beat a hasty retreat. 
Khan Zaman was defeated in battle and killed and his brother cap- 
tured and beheaded. Other rebels were severely dealt with. 

Akbar completed the conquest of Gujerat from Muzaffar Shah 
in 1573 and annexed it to his Empire. This was an important epoch 
in Akbar's history. ,. 

Bengal was held by Afghan Chiefs in the time of Sher Shah' 


but in 1564 Sulaiman Khan of Bihar occupied Gaur and became the 
ruler of the two provinces. After his death Bayazid, his son, suc- 
ceeded him but he was murdered by his ministers who placed his 
younger brother Daud on the throne. Daud incurred the Emperor's 
wrath by seizing the fort of Zamania. Akbar sent Munim Khan, his 
general, and also himself marched against him and Daud was finally 
defeated and killed in battle in 1576. Bengal and Bihar became 
parts of the Empire. Orissa was annexed later in 1592. 

Muzaffar Khan Turbati was made Governor of Bengal. His 
harsh measures and injustice in assessment of revenue incensed the 
local chiefs. Taking advantage of the unpopularity of Akbar's reli- 
gious policy of universal tolerance, Sulh-i-Kul, resented by the 
Ulema who, under the Qazi of Jaunpore, issued a falwah declaring 
it lawful to take up arms against the Emperor, the Qaqshals, an 
important Chagtai tribe under Baba Khan, advanced upon Gaur. 
Todarmal, a Hindu, was sent by Akbar to restore order. Muzaffar 
Khan was killed. The whole of Bengal and Bihar fell into the 
hands of the rebel Qaqshals. Ultimately, however, the rebellion 
was suppressed. 

Hakim again invaded the Punjab but was defeated by Akbar. 
After his death* in i585,Kabul was annexed to Delhi and the govern- 
ment of the country entrusted to Raja Man Singh, a Hindu. The 
tribes on the frontier were also suppressed. The Muslim King of 
Kashmir was forced to submit and Kashmir annexed to the Empire, 
and so was Sind from its ruler Mirza Jani. Qandahar was annexed 
in 1595. 

Having made himself master of the whole of Hindustan, and 
the Afghan regions beyond the Hindukush, Akbar turned towards 
the Deccan. He annexed the Kingdom of Ahmadnagar in 1600 
after overcoming its gallant defence by Chand Bibi, the sister of 
Burhan Nizam Shah. He then attacked Burhanpur and took Asir- 
garh from Miran Bahadur, the ruler of Khandesh in 1601. 

When Akbar left for the Deccan he placed his son Salim in 
charge of the capital, with instructions to Commence operations 
against Mewar with Man Singh and Shah Quli Khan. But the 
Prince rebelled and declared his independence. Akbar returned 
from the South. Salim set up an independent kingdom at Allahabad 
but subsequently begged pardoji of Akbar and a reconciliation was 
effected. A conspiracy was, however, made by the nobles to deprive 
Salim of his succession and to put his eldest son Khusru on the 
throne. But it failed and on Akbar's death in 1605 Salim became 
Emperor as Jahangir. 

Jahangir had first to meet and suppress the conspiracy in 
favour of his own son Khusru who escaped from Agra and with 
the help^of many nobles raised a revolt. He was defeated, arrested 
and brought in chains before the Emperor. He was imprisoned and 


his followers were punished with severity. His charming manners 
made him again a centre of intrigue and a plot was laid to murder 
the Emperor and to proclaim him Emperor. The plot was discover- 
ed, Khusru was blinded and kept a solitary prisoner in a dungeon 
for years. In 1616 he was entrusted to the custody of his mortal 
enemy Asaf Khan who made him over to his rival brother Shah 
Jahan who had him murdered in 1622. After his death his father 
relented and he was given a second burial at Allahabad in what 
is still known as Khusru Bagh. Shah Jahan had as his rival and 
opponent another person Shahriyar, who was son-in-law of Nur 
Jahan. Shah Jahan too revolted against his father and remained 
in that condition from 1622 till about the death of his father. After 
spending several years with varying fortunes he ultimately sur- 
rendered t and had to send his sons, Dara and Aurangzeb, as hostages 
to the Court. Jahangir had also to suppress the rebellion of 
Afghans in Bengal and of his own nobles like Mahabat Khan who 
once made him and Nur Jahan prisoners. Jahangir's two important 
actions against Hindus yvere the conquest of Kangra in 1620 and 
the forced submission of Mewar which had resisted the Mughal 
Empire since the days of Akbar. The Empire lost Qanclahar which 
was captured by the Persians after a siege*. 

On Jahangir's death Shahriyar made a bid for the throne but 
i'ailed. He was imprisoned and blinded and Shah Jafcan became the 
Emperor after ' sending his rivals to the other world ' with the help 
of his father-in-law Asaf Khan who had the Princes of the royal 
family butchered ruthlessly. Many ladies committed suicide. Shah 
Jahan's original name was Prince Khurram. He had got the title 
of Shah Jahan from his father for his campaign against the Muslim 
kingdoms of the Deccan. On coming to the throne in 1628 Shah 
Jahan had to meet the rebellion of the Bundelji Chief which was 
suppressed. In 1629 he had to meet the rebellion oi Khan Jahan 
Lodi, Governor of the Deccan, who was finally defeated. His* head 
was cut off and a hundred of his followers suffered the same fate. 

Akbar had conquered Khandesh (1599) and Ahmadnagar 
(1600) and annexed them to the Empire but Ahmadnagar had 
never been effectively brought under his control. During Jahangir's 
reign no substantial progress had been made on account of 
the resistance of Malik Ambar. Shah Jahan's triumph had proved 
short-lived and the Sultans of the Deccan were nor subdued. The 
Kingdom of Ahmadnagar finally came to an end in 1633. Bijapur 
and'Golkonda remained unconquered. On account of the help 
v/hich Bijapur had given to Ahmadnagar and also because Shahji 
had set up a Nizam Shahi boy as King of Ahmadnagar, the Empe- 
ror's wrath was roused. He sent generals to chastise them and 
forced the King of Golkonda to make his submission. , Bijapur 
also acknowledged the suzerainty of the Emperor. After this 


Aurangzeb was appointed Viceroy of the Deccan. The peace was, 
however, only short-lived and action was again taken some years 
later. Bidar was captured. Bijapuris were defeated at Gulbarga 
and the fort of Kalyani captured after a siege in 1658. Apart from 
political reasons the two southern kings Were Shias and that was 
another reason for the Sunni Emperor to seek to suppress them. 

Qandahar had been seized by the Persians during the time of 
Jahangir. Repeated attempts were made during the time of Shah 
Jahan to recover it. It was recovered in 1639, as AH Mardan Khan, 
the Persian governor, being suspected by his own Shah and fearing 
foul play at his hands, sent word to the Emperor of Delhi whose 
forces marched and easily acquired possession of it. The Persians 
did not give it up and recaptured it in 1649. Several expeditions 
were led on behalf of the Emperor of Delhi and Qandahar was 
besieged but Delhi ultimately failed after having spent 12 crores 
on the enterprise. 

Shah Jahan attempted the conquest of Balkh and Badakhshan, 
Prince Murad was sent with a large force and, 'taking advantage of 
a dispute between Naz Muhammad Khan, ruler of Bokhara, and 
his rebellious son, he entered Balkh without opposition in 1646, 
Naz Muhammad having fled. Murad, however, left for Hindustan 
and a second expedition had to be organized under Aurangzeb. At 
first there wa^ no pitched battle but ultimately the Uzbegs fled 
from the field when the Mughals and Rajputs opened fire and 
Aurangzeb entered Balkh in triumph and placed it under the com- 
mand of the Rajput Chief Madhu Singh Hada. Aurangzeb proceed- 
ed further but had to face much difficulty and had at last to yield. 
On his way back his army suffered much and the Rajputs who had 
been left behind died without food and shelter. The enterprise 
failed dismally an4 cost nearly 4 crores. 

Shah Jahan fell ill in September 1657 and this led to rumours 
of his death, causing public disquietude and leading to a war of 
succession. It is well known how Aurangzeb waded to his father's 
throne through the blood of his own brothers Dara, Shuja and 
Murad. It has also been mentioned already how he had to carry on 
prolonged wars against Bijapur and, Golkonda which were ulti- 
mately conquered and annexed after an eventful career of over 
250 years. 

If in his wars Aurangzeb employed Hindu generals, his Hindu 
rival ' Sivaji also had in his employ quite a number of Musfim mili- 
tary officers. Some of them held important positions, like the 
Generals Siddi Hullal and Nur Khan. In Sivaji's Navy there were 
at least three Muslim Admirals Siddi Sambal, Siddi Misri and 
Daulat Khan/ 44 

44. Mehta Sc Patwardhan : " The Communal Triangle ", p. 18. 


I have strayed into this rather long historical discussion not to 
show that the Muslim rulers of India did nothing more than fight 
amongst themselves. They in fact did a great deal more. They 
consolidated an Empire which reached the height of glory. They 
encouraged arts and were instrumental in the long run in evolving 
what may be called a national State of India as States were in 
those days. I have mentioned these instances only to show that 
Muslims fought Muslims more than they fought Hindus and that 
it is a wrong and one-sided view of history to imagine, as has been 
done by some persons, that during the long period of over six 
hundred years they were constantly engaged in wars against the 
Hindus whom they were oppressing all the time, leaving a legacy 
of hate and bitterness, the effects of which have not been and can- 
not be obliterated or forgotten. 

In more recent times Indian soldiers in the British army have 
been sent out of the country to fight wars for the British Empire in 
China, in Malaya, in Burma on the East, and in Arabia, in Persia, 
in Afghanistan, in Egypt, in Turkey, in Cyrenaica, in Tripoli and 
even in Europe on the West. Musalnian soldiers have fought and 
helped in the destruction of the Empire of Turkey. t The fact that 
some of the powers and countries against which they fought were 
also Musalman has not stood in their way. There is nothing sur- 
prising in all this. The history of Islam outside Indi^i is replete with 
instances in which Muslims have fought Muslims, and one Muslim 
country or king has fought, defeated and conquered another Mus- 
lim country or king. 

The Prophet had enjoined Muslims not to kill Muslims, and 
on some occasions in his lifetime when a person, even in the course 
of a battle declared himself to be a Muslim, and the question was 
raised whether such a person who professed to ]be a Musalman but 
about whose honesty of profession doubts were entertained should 
be killed or spared in battle, he directed that once the man declared 
himself converted, he should not be killed and his life should be 
spared. But soon after his passing away the injunction appears to 
have been forgotten even by those who had had the privilege of 
direct association with the P t rophet himself or with those who had 
had such association with him. Hazrat Usman, who was not only 
the third Caliph but very closely .related to the Prophet, having 
married two of his daughters, was killed by Musalmans who had 
rebelled against him. The fourth Caliph Hazrat AH, who was a 
cousin as also another son-in-law of the Prophet, had to fight a 
battle with Hazrat Ayesha, a widow of the Prophet and also shared 
the fate of Hazrat Usman was murdered by Musalmans. The 
sons of Hazrat AH were also killed by Musalmans who supported 
the claim of the Omayyad Yezid to the Caliphate. If such was the 
case within a few years of the Prophet's death and with those who 


had been amongst the earliest of Muslims Hazrat Ali was the first 
youth to accept Islam at the hands of the Prophet himself and his 
lifelong- associates, it is easy to understand that the later Muslims 
could also fight other Muslims. 

In the later wars between Muslims, certainly, if not even in 
these early ones, Islam as a religion or its propagation and protec- 
tion played no more part than it did in the numerous wars and 
expeditions against or in India. After conquest and consolidation 
of his power, every conqueror, king, or emperor carried on the 
administration as he considered best and safest in the circum- 
stances of the country and the people among whom his lot was cast* 
Islam undoubtedly influenced the administration and the lives of 
the people both the rulers and the ruled. But that is something 
very different from saying that the propagation or protection of 
Islam was the object of any of these temporal rulers either in India 
or outside. In India particularly, Musalman rulers, and indeed all 
Muslims generally, formed what may be described as small islands 
which had grown and were constantly growing in size and extent 
by accretion. The number of foreigners who came as invaders or 
conquerors and settled down in India was indeed small compared 
with that of ntfn-Muslipis. The present-day Muslim population is 
composed very largely in fact overwhelmingly of Indians who 
adopted Islam as their religion and the descendants of such con- 
verted persons 1 * who must have been Hindus. 

When we find so much of confidence, fellow feeling and joint 
action in matters military, it is only reasonable (o expect that there 
would be even more of it in civil administration and in the ordinary 
life of the people at large, and this expectation is well founded in 
facts furnished by history. 

' The employment of the Hindus was a necessity of their rule. 
Mahmud of Ghazni had a numerous body of Hindu troops who 
fought for him in Central Asia and his Hindu Commander Tilak 
suppressed the rebellion of his Muslim general Niyaltgin. When 
Qutub-uddin Aibak decided to stay in Hindustan, he had no other 
choice but to retain the Hindu staff which was familiar with the 
civil administration, for without it all government including the 
collection of revenue would have fallen into utter chaos. The Mus- 
lims did not bring with them from beyond the Indian frontiers 
artisans, accountants and clerks. Their buildings were erected by 
Hindus who adapted their ancient rules to newer conditions, their 
coins were struck by Hindu goldsmiths, and their accounts were 
kept by Hindu officers. Brahmin legalists advised the king on the 
administration of Hindu law and Brahmin astronomers helped in 
the performances of their general functions/ 4 ? ' One noteworthy 
fact of the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah I (A.D. 1534-1557) was that 

45. Tarachand : " Influence of Islam on Indian Culture ", pp. 136*7. 


public accounts began to be kept in Hindi instead of in Persian and 
many Brahmins were appointed in charge of the accounts so that 
they soon acquired a great influence in the government. In the 
reign of Yusuf Adil Shah the Hindus had also been admitted to 
the exercise of considerable powers in his revenue department/ 40 

Sultan Muhammad Tughlak ' had many Hindus in his employ. 
One of the highest officers of his Finance Department was a Hindu 
by name Ratan. Akbar's celebrated Finance and Revenue Minister, 
Raja Todar Mai, introduced far-reaching changes in administra- 
tion and was reckoned among the highest dignitaries of the State. 
Aurangzeb's Finance Minister, Ragh Nath, was also a Hindu/ 47 

Even today in Indian States Hindus and Musalmans are 
appointed to the highest posts irrespective of their religion. It is 
enough to cite the instances of Maharaja Sir Kishen Prasad of 
Hyderabad and Mirza Sir Mohammad Ismail of Mysore and now 
of Jaipur. 

The Revolt of 1857 against the British was a joint enterprise 
of Hindus and Muslims who had both rallied round Bahadur Shah, 
the titular Emperor of )elhi. Had it succeeded, it would h^ve re- 
established and consolidated the Empire of Bahadur Shah, as 
surely as its failure resulted in his imprisonment antt exile and the 
destruction of the great house of the Mughals as Emperors of 

During the years immediately following the kevolt of 1857 
Muslims came in for a great deal of repression at the hands of the 
British Government. The Ulema particularly never wholeheartedly 
submitted to the rule of the British. With their long historical 
background, the reaction of the Musalmans against outside inter- 
ference of the British was great. Such ' pressure from without is 
probably the largest single factor in the process^ of national evolu- 
tion ' in the words of Julian Huxley quoted above ; 4S and no wonder 
all these have combined in forging an Indian nation. Musalmans 
no less than Hindus were emphatic in asserting the existence of 
this Indian Nation, albeit with distinct religions of which two were 
the most important as being followed by the largest numbers of the 
population. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who is credited with having 
kept large bodies of Musalnians from joining the Congress, held 
this belief in his earlier days. He regarded the Hindus and Mus- 
lims as the two eyes of a maiden, and you could not injure one with- 
out injuring the other. It is unnecessary to cite quotations from the 
speeches and writings of Musalmans who have been associated 
with the Indian National Congress. 

I shall close this discussion of the two nations theory witK some 

46. N. N. Law : " Promotion of Learning in India during Muhammedan Rul* ", p. 93. 

47. Mehta' & Patwardhan, op. cit, p. 19. 48. Julian Huxley : " Race in Europe ", p. 3. 


quotations from distinguished Musalmans of India. First and fore- 
most I shall give two passages from the speeches of Sir Syed 
Ahmad Khan and end with citations from two living distinguished 
Muslims of our day. In a speech delivered at a gathering at Gur- 
daspur in 1885 Sir Syed spoke as follows : 

' From the oldest times the word Nation is applied to the inha- 
bitants of one country, though they differ in some peculiarities 
which are characteristic of their own. Hindu and Muhammadan 
brethren, do you people any country other than Hindusthan ? Do 
you not inhabit the same land ? Are you not burnt and buried in 
the same soil ? Do you not tread the same ground, and live upon 
the same soil ? Remember that the words " Hindu " and " Muham- 
madan " are only meant for religious distinction, otherwise all 
persons, whether Hindu, Muhammadan, or Christian, who reside in 
this country belong to one and the same nation. Then all these 
different sects can only be described as one nation ; they must each 
and all unite for the good of the country which is common to all/ 49 

On another occasion he spoke about the same thing at Lahore: 

' In the word Nation I include both Hindus and Muhamma- 
dans Because that is the only meaning which I can attach to it. 
With me it is not so much worth considering what is their religious 
faith, because we do not see anything- of it. What we do see is that 
we inhabit the same land, are subject to the rule of the same 
government, tlfe fountains of benefits for all are the same and the 
pangs of famine also we suffer equally. These are the different 
grounds upon which I call both these races which inhabit India by 
one word, i.e. Hindu, meaning to say that they are inhabitants of 
Hindusthan. While in the Legislative Council, I was always 
anxious for the prosperity of this nation. 5 (Indian Nation Builders 
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, pp. 41-2 ) 49 

In his Forewcfrd to Sj. Atulananda Chakravarti's Hindus and 
Musalmans of India Sir Shafaat Ahmad Khan, no mean historian, 
after a bird's eye view of social and cultural development of India 
during the ages, has come to the following conclusion : 

' In almost every sphere of our national activity, there was 
greater solidarity and rapport between the two communities than 
is generally supposed. The history of Indian culture shows con- 
tinuous reciprocity of feeling and solidarity of sentiment between 
the masses no less than the classes of the two communities and the 
classics of Indian languages give us a more complete embodiment 
of the national spirit than can be shown by any other nation in 
Asia. This understanding which purified the tastes and instincts 
of the aristocracy and the populace, has penetrated and refined the 
whole nation. Whatever our political differences may be and I 
shall be the last to minimise them the fac't remains that in the 

49. Quoted in "Pakistan Examined", by Rezaul Karim, p. 117. 


temper of their intellect, their traditions of life, their habits, and 
the circle of their thought, there is a powerful tradition of unity, 
which has been forged in the fires and chills of nearly a thousand 
years of a chequered period, and is indestructible and immortal/ 50 
What is needed, to quote Sir Shafaat once again, is that 'the 
myopia which sees social phenomenon as merely political pheno- 
menon, and regards the ailments of a national body as political 
disorder must be corrected by the intensive study of Hindu-Muslim 
culture and a deeper understanding of the forces which have mould- 
ed Indian thought and aspirations in our splendid past.' 51 ^ 

Sir Sultan Ahmad is no less emphatic in his opinion : ' The 
Hindu-Muslim differences of today threaten to undo the historic 
fellowship between the two communities that, beginning under the 
Moghuls, has existed for centuries. It is seldom realized that to 
disunite 'Hindustan would be to work against the one constructive 
factor of the history of Muslim rule in this country. The Indians 
of today certainly possess far more knowledge than their ancestors, 
but the picture of their ideas is dwarfed by the large canvas on 
which is imprinted the Aryan-Saracenic conception of unity. In- 
dian leaders and thinkers of a remoter age sought to establish har- 
mony between the two religions. Prince Dara Shfckoh compared 
them to two confluent rivers, Majma-ul-Bahrein; Kabir and Nanak 
tried to fuse them together and imported into their prayers the 
names of both " Allah the Bountiful and Ram ". The Hindu and 
Muslim masters were inspired to bring into existence common arts 
and crafts that touched the souls and satisfied the utilitarian needs 
of both Hindus and Muslims. Common notions of joy and beauty 
were evolved. The Indian of today is out to destroy the edifice built 
for him by the hand of history. Unable to appreciate that history, 
he gives it a bad name. 

' It is strange that Hindu-Muslim unity should be going to 
pieces in spite of the existence of so many common points between 
the Hindus and Muslims. It should have been our duty to use* these 
points for broadening the basis of unity. A common cultural heri- 
tage in music and literature, painting and architecture, was not 
the only treasure bequeathed to us ; a common political destiny 
too was evolved as the Hind*u and the Muslim fought together in, 
many a battle. In social life, again, the traditions and practices of 
the two communities were interwoven one with the other. Com- 
mon ways of life were already in evidence even as early as the days 
of tfce Emperor Babar, who facetiously described them as the 
" Hindustani ways ", in which both Hindu and Muslim traits were 
found freely mixed up. Then came the Urdu language, beginning 
as the language of the camp. Even in religion, in those days the 

50. Atulananda Chakravarti : " Hindus and Musalmans of India *', pp. xix-xx. 

51. ibid., p. xvi. 


most cherished of -all things, the two influenced each other. The 
Muslim gave a new turn and a new tinge to the religion of the mass 
of Hindus; his own in turn took on an Indian complexion. This 
change was noted by his ultramontane co-religionists. 

'The Muslim in India became the son of the soil. This course 
was irrevocably decided for him when Qutbuddin separated the 
Sultanate of Delhi from the Ghaznivite Empire. That a Muslim 
king should not discriminate against any section of his subjects 
\vas an injunction, clear and definite, for he was enjoined to "re- 
gard all sects of religion with the single eye of favour, and not 
bcmother some and bestep-mother others". It is interesting to 
trace the growth of the love for India as the mother country as 
we compare Babar's Memoirs and Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari. The 
founder of the Empire complains "Hindustan is a country that 
has few r pleasures to recommend it/' But gone was this newcomer's 
attitude by the time that Akbar came to the throne, whose historian 
is carried away by the "beauties of Hindustan" and apologises for 
a digression which proceeded from "the love of my native 
counUy'V 52 

52. Sir Sultan Ahmad : " A Treaty between India and the United Kingdom/' pp. 60-1. 



We have seen how during the long period of Muslim connexion 
with India persistent efforts had been made alike by the Muslim 
rulers, artists, faqirs and others to assimilate as much as possible 
of the Hindu culture. This had been reciprocated to a remarkable 
extent by the Hindus on their side. Although the two had not 
coalesced and become one, the points of contact and common inte- 
rest had increasingly grown and what may be called a Hindustani 
culture had developed in course of time. In politics this was bound 
to create a nation in the modern sense of the term and this happen- 
ed particularly after the establishment of British rule in India to 
which both the Hindus and Muslims became subject. We have 
quoted authoritative Muslim opinion to show that Musalmans, no 
less than Hindus, treated both Hindus and Muslims as constituting 
a nation. At the same time we know that the All-India Muslim 
Leagite and its spokesmen are equally emphatic today in declaring 
that they, the, Muslims, constitute a nation separate from the 
Hindus. What can be the explanation of this phenomenon ? An 
answer to this question requires an examination of some historical 
facts. t 

The attitude of the Muslim conquerors had, on the whole, been 
one of toleration, and in spite of the fanatical zeal manifested by 
some of them at times, it may be safely asserted that there had been 
a continuous attempt from the earliest clays to deal with the Hindus 
fairly. One early instance may be quoted. When the people of 
Brahmanabad which had been conquered by Mahommad bin 
Qasim implored him to grant them freedom of worship, he referred 
the matter to Hajjaj, the Governor of Iraq who sent him the follow- 
ing reply: 'As they [the Hindus] have made submission and have 
agreed to pay taxes to the Khalifa, nothing more can be properly 
required from them. They have been taken under our protection 
and we cannot in any way stretch our hands upon their lives or 
property. Permission is given them to worship their gods. Nobody 
must be forbidden or prevented from following his own religion. 
They may live in their houses in whatever manner they like/ 1 This 
was in keeping with the teachings of the Prophet and the principle 
which governed the conduct of the early Caliphs who treated in 
this way non-Muslims who had submitted and agreed to pay jeziya. 

The rulers were not slow to take an independent line of their 
own, irrespective of what the Muslim divines might consider neces- 
sary or proper, thus making the State independent of religion. 

1. Ishwari Prasad : " A Short History of Mus'im Rule in India," p. 46. 


Allauddin Khilji, whose empire embraced the whole of the north 
and south* of India, was opposed to interference of the Ulema in 
matters of State and laid down that the law was to depend upon the 
will of the monarch and had nothing to do with the law of the 
Prophet. He upheld the royal prerogative of punishment and justi- 
fied the mutilation of dishonest and corrupt officers, though the 
Qazi declared it contrary to common law. He explained to the 
Qazi his doctrine of kingship in significant words: 'To prevent 
rebellion in which thousands perish I issue such orders as I consider 
to be for the good of the State and benefit of the people. Men are 
heedless, disrespectful and disobey my commands. I am then com- 
pelled to be severe to bring them into obedience. I do not know 
whether this is lawful or unlawful; whatever 1 think to be for the 
good of the State or suitable for the emergency, that I decree; and 
as for what may happen to me on the approaching clay of judge- 
ment, that I know not/ 2 This is what benevolent autocrats haw 
always claimed and shows complete separation between the func- 
tions of the monarch as the ruler of peoples following different reli- 
gions and customs, and as the follower of a particular faith 

The testamentary injunction of Babar already quoted at 
length was followed by the Mughal Emperors, resulting in the ex- 
pansion of their Empire. Departure from it created conditions 
which ultimately led to its disruption. Foreigners also notice the 
consideratiomshown to Hindu sentiment. 'On the occasion of Id 
it appears the cow was not sacrificed, for we are told, "On that day 
[Id] everyone who is able will sacrifice a goat in his house and keep 
the day as a great festival." ' 8 No wonder that the communities 
lived side by side amicably, although they never coalesced and 
never became merged one in the other. 

Mr F. K. Khan Durrani has summarized .the position and I 
cannot do better than quote a pretty long extract here: 

'The ancient Hindus were not a nation. They were only a 
people, a mere herd. 

'The Muslims of India were none better. Islam, indeed, be- 
came a State in the lifetime of its Founder himself. It has a well- 
defined political philosophy. . I shall say Islam is a political philo- 
sophy. , . . The Islamic State is a democracy for whose maintenance 
every individual Muslim is responsible La Islam ilia be Jamaet-hu: 
There is no Islam without any organized society/' says Omar the 
Great. Unfortunately, the Islamic State did not endure long 
enough. The Omayyads and the Abbasids destroyed it and turned 
it into mulk or autocratic, despotic, hereditary monarchy. 4 

'At the time the Muslims conquered India, the divorce of 
religion and politics had become the accepted creed of the Muslims 

2. Ishwari Prasad, op. cit., p. 126. 3. ibid., p. 698, quoting Pelsacrt, p. 74. 
4. F. K. Khan Durrani : " The Meaning of Pakistan," pp. 34-5. 


throughout the world. The men who conquered India were not the 
national army of a Muslim State but paid mercenaries of an impe- 
rial despot. The State they established in India was not a national 
Muslim State, but held, maintained and exploited in the interests 
of an autocrat and his satellites. The Muslim Empire in India was 
Muslim only in the sense that the man who wore the crown pro- 
fessed to be a Muslim. Through the whole length of their rule in 
India Muslims never developed the sense of nationhood. Imperial 
policy from beginning to end was inimical to the growth of that 
sense. . . . 5 

'So we had two peoples, Hindus and Muslims, living side by 
side in equal servitude to an imperial despotism, and both devoid of 
national feeling or national ambitions. . . . 

'Much has been written on the irreconcilability of the reli- 
gious conceptions, beliefs and practices of the Hindus and the Mus- 
lims. . . . Yet in spite of them all, there is something in their respec- 
tive faiths, which enabled the two peoples to live amicably together 
for many centuries and which, if what they haVe learnt and suffered 
uncles British rule could be washed out of their minds and the same 
old religious mentality could be recreated in them which inspired 
their forefathers of a Century ago, would enable them again to live 
amicably together as good neighbours and citizens of the same 
State. That something is the spirit of tolerance inculcated in both 
religions/ 6 

Now Divide et Impera Divide and rule is a maxim hoary with 
age and has been adopted by all conquerors in all countries and in 
all ages. Once the validity of foreign rule is admitted no special 
blame attaches to the foreign ruler for having recourse to it. The 
British cannot, therefore, be blamed if they have not risen superior 
to other foreign conquerors and have followed the advice given b\ 
Moimtsluart Klpfiinstone: 'Divide et Impera was the old Roman 
motto and it should be ours/ It is the sanctimonious pose that 
whatever they do in India is actuated by lofty idealism and unadul- 
terated altruism that irritates. The present seemingly irreconcilable 
differences between the Hindus and Muslims are in no small 
measure the result of a deliberate application of the policy of divide 
and rule. It started in the clays of the East India Company when 
the British were just establishing themselves as rulers of India and 
can be easily seen working in the latest statements made by the ex- 
Secretary of State for India, Mr L.S. Amery, and other high placed 
Britishers connected with the Government of India, This is*what 
makes so difficult the recreation of that old mentality which 'would 
enable Hindus and Muslims to live amicably together as good 
neighbours and citizens of the same State/, 

The Communal question in India is thus not a question 

5. Durrani, op. cit., pp. 35-6. 6. ibid., pp. 36-7. 


between the Hindus and Musalmans who can solve it as they like, 
if they will. There is a third party, and in some respects a most 
important party, that is, the British Government. We have thus 
what has been very expressively termed a communal triangle, with 
Hindus and Muslims as its two sides and the British Government 
as the base. As this base has grown in size it has simultaneouly 
widened the angle of difference between the two sides. 



While the East India Company was engaged in carving out an 
Empire in India in the disturbed times of mutual strife and conflict 
among those who had set themselves up as independent rulers in 
the declining days of the Mughal Empire, the fundamental policy 
of the Governors appointed on behalf of the Company in India was 
to take advantage of such conflicts and strifes and to see to it that 
Indians did not combine against the British. It was one of the 
objectives of the Company's officers to prevent a combination be- 
tween the Mahrattas, the Nizam and the Nawab of Carnatac, and 
later between Hyderabad and Tippoo Sultan. 'It is true', says W. 
M. Torrens, 'to use the words of Malcolm, that "Hindustan could 
never have been subdued but by the help of her owirchildren." At 
first it was Nizam against Arcot and Arcot against Nizam, then 
Mahratta against Muslim, and Afghan against Hindu/ 1 The dif- 
ferences among the Mahrattas themselves were in no small mea- 
sure the result of British intrigue at the Mahratta Court. ' In Mah- 
ratta history there are two central figures round which are to be 
traced the rise and decline of the Mahratta Empire. The valour 
and genius of Shivaji laid the foundation of the Empire; the im- 
prudence and intrigue of Raghunath Rao precipitated its fall/* 

'Mr Mostyn\ writes Grant Duff, 'was sent to Poona by the 
Bombay (loveniment for the purpose of using every endeavour by 
fomenting domestic dissensions or otherwise to prevent the Mahrat- 
tas from joining Hyder AH or the Nizam/ 3 He helped Raghoba who 
became a tool in his hands. He made him wage war with the Nizam 
and Hyder AH without gaining any advantage for the Mahratta 
Empire. Nana Farnavis soon discovered that Raghoba was merely 
a tool in the hands of the Bombay Government and that the end of 
the Mahratta Empire would not be far off if Raghoba continued to 
hold the Pesh \vaship. Raghoba finding that Nana Farnavis and 
other ministers were opposed to him fled to Gujerat and sought the 

1. W. M, Torrens : " Empire in Asia/ 1 p, 19. 

2. B. D. Basu : " Rise of Christian Power in India," p. 209. 

3. Grant Duff " History of the Mahrattas/' p, 340. 


assistance of the President and Council of Bombay who were only 
too willing to render him assistance so that the Mahratta Empire 
might be weakened and they might get advantages for the East 
India Company on the west coast, and particularly the cession of 
the islands and peninsula of Salsette and Bassein. 

'In this policy no distinction was made between Hindus and 
Mussalmans on religious basis, and Mussalmans were set up 
against Mussalmans as much as against Hindus, just as Hindus 
were set up against Hindus as much as against Mussalmans. The 
result aimed at was to defeat and suppress each with the help of 
the others who in their turn were similarly treated. An illustration 
of this is furnished by the treatment given to the Rohillas during 
the time of Warren Hastings. The Rohillas occupied a territory on 
the border of the territory of the Vizier of Oudh. They were locally 
ruled by their own chiefs and magistrates, but they enjoyed more 
than ordinary freedom and consequently more prosperity than 
many other communities. The Rohillas, like the Swiss, sedulously 
cultivated the arts of peace. Their territory lay between Oudh and 
the recent conquest of the Mahrattas and when the Mahratlas 
menaced the Vizier's territory and offered advantageous terms to 
the Rohillas fof allowing them passage through their country, they 
refused the terms and thus exposed themselves to the ravages of 
Mahratta inroads because they had a treaty of mutual alliance with 
the Vizier whith had been entered into at the express instance of 
the English and under their solemn guarantee. When once the 
Mahrattas had been repelled there was secret conspiracy between 
the Vizier and the Governor-General for annexing the territory of 
the Rohillas. Hastings induced the Vizier to employ the subsidiary 
force within his dominions professedly to defend him against 
foreign enemies but to be officered and commanded exclusively by 
the Company. In* ret urn the Vizier was to pay a stipulated sum 
which was a source of profit and revenue to the Company. It was 
with A view to increase of their profit that the sale of Rohilkhand 

was agreed to A secret treaty was, therefore, entered into 

between the Subedar and the Governor-General whereby the Com- 
pany engaged, whenever a suitable pretence should be found or 
made, in consideration of a sum of 40 lakhs of rupees and payment 
of all expenses to be incurred on the business, in concert with the 
troops of Oudh to crush the Rohillas and to add their country to 
the dominions of the Vizier/ 4 Various pretences were, of course, 
found and Rohilkhand was invaded and after brave resistance the 
Rohillas were defeated. 'Seldom, if ever, have what are called the 
rights of victory been more inhumanly abused. "Every man who 
bore the name of Rohilla was either put to death or forced to seek 
safety in exile/' But this did not exceed the stipulation of the 

4, Adapted from Torrens, op, cit, pp. 100-101. 


treaty; for by Hastings's own letter it appears fhat in its provi- 
sions there was the specific agreement that, if necessary "the Ro- 
hillas should be exterminated/' The language is his own/ 5 In the 
result, says Torrens, Hastings pocketed twenty thousand pounds 
as a private present for signing the treaty and the public treasury 
was replenished to the extent of four hundred thousand pounds. 

The turn of Nawab Vizier soon came. More money was need- 
ed. The Nawab pleaded poverty. 'Negotiations took place which 
resulted in the memorable device for replenishing the exchequer of 
Calcutta without exhausting that of Lucknow. "It was 11 , says 
Lord Macaulay, "simply this, that the Governor-General and the 
Nawab Vizier should join to rob a third party, and the third party 
whom they determined to rob was the parent of one of the 
robbers/' ' The persons to be robbed were the mother and widow 
of the late Vizier who were supposed to have vast treasures and the 
spoil was reckoned at 1,200,000. 

Hastings had set the precedent of 'hiring out to the Princes of 
Hindustan, permanent bodies of British troops under the designa- 
tion of subsidiary forces, and thereby was a means established of 
sapping the authority and independence of every one of them. 
Hastings avows that in establishing such ;i force in Ouclh, he de- 
signed to weaken the native Government and reduce it to depen- 
dency; and how soon his accomplice found that he had sold himself 
with his prey, subsequent events clearly set forth/* 

It is unnecessary to cite further instances of the working of 
the British policy of setting one Indian ruler against another and 
ultimately defeating each in turn. This policy has not been con- 
fined to India but has been applied elsewhere also with the same 
devastating efifect. 

By the beginning of the nineteenth century not only was the 
power of the Mughal Emperor completely broken but the various 
independent kingdoms which had arisen as a result of the Mughal 
Empire's dismemberment were also either completely destroyed 
or emasculated so as to leave the East India Company the indis- 
putable ruler or overlord of the country as a whole. Some of the 
Indian kingdoms still retained their independence real or nominal 
and the same policy was continued until they succumbed. Thus 
by the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century the Mab- 
ratta Empire had been completely liquidated and such of the Mah- 
ratta Princes as were allowed to continue their rule in parts of the 
country had become feudatory chiefs. The kingdom of Oudh was 
still nominally independent but incapable of holding out against 
any serious onslaught by the British. This onslaught came some 
years later and Oudh was annexed. Tipoo Sultan had already 
been defeated and killed and his kingdom annexed. Th ( e Nizam 

5 Torrens, op. cit., p. 102. 6. ibid., p. 116. 7. ibid., p. 101. 


had become an ally and ceased to be a source of clanger or anxiety 
to the British. The Sikhs had established their kingdom in the 
Punjab and North-West and were not looked upon without suspi- 
cion. The Mughal Emperor was Emperor only in name and had 
practically ceased to rule any large tract of the country. 


Although Musalmans had lost their position as a great political 
power in the country, they were still not looked upon with favour. 
There arose also among them men fired with religious zeal for 
reform. They attributed their fall from political power to their fall 
from the ideals of Islam and exhorted them to go back to the early 
teachings of Islam and get rid of many customs and rites which 
had grown up in course of time but which were not strictly speak- 
ing sanctioned by Islam. One of the early reformers was Moulvi 
Shariatullah of Bahadurpur in the district of Faridpur in Bengal 
who l^id spent some twenty years in Arabia and after his return 
had established in the first decade of the nineteenth century a sect 
known as 4 Frafzi\ His son Dudhu Mian succeeded him and esta- 
blished his headquarters at Bahadurpur and carried on his move- 
ment amongst the peasants not only for religious reform but also 
for protecting them against the oppression of the zamindars. 

Some years later a movement was started by Syed Ahmad of 
Rai Bareili which had its branches all over India and played a great 
part in the first half of the nineteenth centrury. He was born in Rai 
Bareili and received his education in Delhi and acquired a great 
fame not only for his learning but also for his piety. Many of the 
learned Ulema of the time accepted him as their leader and he 
carried on a great agitation against social evils like drinking and 
prostitution. lie sent his disciples and agents to distant places like 
Hyderabad and places further south and to Bengal. He became the 
centre of jehad against the Sikhs of the Punjab, who, it is said, ill- 
treated the Musalmans, prevented them from fulfilling their reli- 
gious obligations and desecrated their places of worship. He, there- 
fore, declared their state as Darul-Harb and decided to lead jehad 
against them. Although the Mahrattas had also established their 
rule, they had not interfered with the religion of the Musalmans 
had allowed them to perform their religious duties and even allowed 
Muslim Qazis to function, and the Musalmans regarded their State 
as also that of the Rajputs as Darul-Islam and not Darid-Harb. Syed 
Ahmad Brelvi made preparations for jehad against the Sikhs and 
his disciples spread all over the country to Qollect men and money 
for it. He himself had some experience of fighting and took the 
lead of the army so collected. The British authorities were kept 


informed of the preparations but did not interfere, as the prepara- 
tions were directed against the Sikhs whose power was tolerated 
but looked upon with disfavour by them. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan 
wrote about these preparations as follows: 

'In those days Musalmans used publicly to ask Muslim masses 
to carry on jefiad against the Sikhs. Thousands of armed Musal- 
mans and a large incalculable store of war materials were collected 
for jehad against Sikhs. But when the Commissioner and the magi- 
strate were informed of it, they brought it to the notice of the Go- 
vernment. The Government clearly wrote to them not to interfere. 
When a Mahajan of Delhi misappropriated some money of the 
jefiadis, William Eraser, Commissioner of Delhi, gave a decree for 
it which was realized and sent to the Frontier/ 1 'There is no 
doubt', says Muhammad Jafar Saheb in Sawanat Ahmadia, p. 139, 
that 'if the Sarkar [British Government] were against Syed Saheb, 
then no help could reach Syed Saheb from Hindustan, But the 
British Government in those clays heartily desired that the power 
of the Sikhs should be diminished/ 2 In the result Syed Ahmad led 
an army through Sind and the Bolan Pass into Afghanistan and 
then attacked the Punjab through the Khyber Pass in 1824 and 
continued his Avar with varying success until he captured Peshawar 
in 1830. Sultan Mohammad Khan, who was the Governor on behalf 
of the Sikhs, swore allegiance to him and was continued in his post. 
Moulvi Mazhar AH was appointed Qazi. He thus succeeded in 
securing religious freedom to the people of the Frontier tracts. But 
there were old feuds between Sultan Mohammad Khan and Qazi 
Mazhar AH. After Syed Ahmad had left Peshawar Sultan Moham- 
mad got Qazi Mazhar AH murdered in open Durbar. In conspiracy 
with local leaders he also got persons who had been appointed col- 
lectors by Syed Saheb murdered. This so much upset Syed Saheb 
that he left the Frontier towards the end of 1830 with a number of 
his followers and was ultimately killed in a battle in 1831 at the age 
of 45. 

Although his army dispersed after his death, the jehadis had 
established their headquarters at Sittana in the Swat valley in the 
Frontier, from where they continued their fight with the help they 
received from Hindustan. The British Government connived at 
this until the Punjab was conquered, as will appear from the fol- 
lowing quotations from Sir William Hunter's Indian Mussalmans: 
'They perpetrated endless depredations and massacres upon their 
Hinciu neighbours before we annexed the Punjab, annually recruit- 
-ing their camp with Mahommadan zealots from the British dis- 
tricts. We took no precaution to prevent our subjects flocking to 

1. Translation of an extract from an article of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan published in the 
Institute Gazette of 8th September 1871 -Quoted by M. Tufail Ahmadi in "Musalmanon Ka 
Roshan Mustaqbal," p. 102. 

2. ibid., p. 103. 


a fanatical colony which spent its fury on the Sikhs, an uncertain 
coalition of tribes, sometimes our friends and sometimes our 
enemies. An English gentleman who had large indigo factories in 
our North-Western Provinces, tells me that it was customary for 
all pious Musalmans in his employ to lay aside a fixed share of their 
wages for the Sittana Encampment. The more daring spirits \\ent 
to serve for longer or shorter periods under the fanatic leaders. As 
his Hindu overseers now and then begged for a holiday for the 
-annual celebration of their fathers' obsequies, so the Mahommadan 
bailiffs were wont between 1830 and 1846 to allege their religious 
duty of joining the crescentaders as a ground for a few months' 
leave/ 3 'Upon our annexation of the Punjab/ continues Sir Wil- 
liam Hunter, 4 the fanatic fury, which had formerly spent itself 
upon the Sikhs, was transferred to their successors. Hindus and 
English were alike Infidels in the eyes of the Sittana Host, and as 
such were to be exterminated by the sword. The disorders which 
we had connived at, or at least viewed with indifference, upon the 
Sikh Frontier, now descended as a bitter inheritance to ourselves/ 4 
Their followers were found preaching sedition in different parts of 
the country so far apart as Rajshahi in Bengal, Patna in Bihar, and 
the Punjab Frontier. Throughout the whole period the fanatics 
kept the border tribes in a state of chronic hostility to the British 
Power. A single fact will speak volumes. Between 1850 and 1857 
the Frontier disorders forced us to send out sixteen distinct expe- 
ditions,^ aggregating 33,000 Regular Troops; and between 1857 
and 1863 the number rose to twenty separate expeditions aggre- 
gating 60,000 Regular Troops, besides Irregular Auxliarics and 
Police/ 5 

It is unnecessary to go into further details of the doings of the 
Mujahids beyond stating that the disciples of Syed Ahmad Brclvi 
continued helping the jehadis. Two of the principal disciples, the 
brothers Moulvi Wilayat AH and Moulvi Enayat Ali, belonged to 
Patna. After the conquest of the Punjab the British compelled the 
Indian Mujahids to return to Hindustan and Moulvi Wilayat Ali 
came back to Patna with his followers. He had to give an under- 
taking that he would not go to the Frontier for some years, after 
the expiry of which he and his brother sold their property and 
undertook hijrat to Sittana and thus started a movement for hijrat 
which lasted for a pretty long time and received an impetus after 
the rebellion of 1857. When the British started their forward policy 
in the Frontier in 1864 it became necessary that all connexion 
between the Frontier people and the people of India should be cut 
off and during 1864 and 1870 five cases of rebellion were instituted 
against Indians among whom some of the most important accused 

3. W Wt Hunter ; " Indian Mussalmans," p. 20, quoted in Tufail Ahmad, op. cit, p. 110. 

4. ibid., pp. 21-2, quoted Do. 5. ibid., p. 24, quoted Do. 


were of the Patna family and from amongst their disciples. The 
charge against them was that they had continued correspondence 
with their relations on the Frontier and had helped them with 
money. Some of them were given death sentences which were 
reduced to transportation for life! It may be noted that these 
persons had done nothing more or worse than what the British 
Government had not only connived at since 1824 but actually en- 
couraged by realizing hundis on behalf of the Mujahids and remit- 
ting the same to them on the Frontier. This movement started by 
Syed Ahmad Brelvi and carried on after his death by his followers 
and disciples has been given the name of the \Vahabi Movement. 
Among their teachings about social and religious reform, the Wa- 
habis also preached the great doctrine of jehad. India, having conic 
under the rule of the Christian British, became Dand-Harb against 
which jehad was obligatory. 'Throughout the whole literature of 
the sect this obligation shines forth as the first duty of regenerate 
man/ If jehad was impossible, then hijrat was the alternative. 

The situation oreated by the Wahabi movement was met by 
two-fold action of the Government. On the one hand, th<?, great 
State Trials broke up the organization of the Wahabis, and on the 
other, counter-propaganda against their teaching was started and 
Fatwas against jehad were obtained and circulated. Sir William 
Hunter says: 'It has always seemed to me an inexpressibly painful 
incident of our position in India that the best men are not on our 
side. . . . And it is no small thing that this chronic hostility has 
lately been removed from the category of imperative obligation.' 7 

The whole episode is illustrative of the policy of 'divide and 
rule'. So long as the Sikhs were a thorn in the side of the British, 
the Musalmans were encouraged to carry jehad against them. Once 
the Sikhs had been defeated and the Punjab conquered, the jehadis 
were declared rebels against the British and convicted and 
sentenced to transportation for life and their entire OFgan|zation 
broken up. 



The revolt of 1857 was the result of causes which had been 
operating and accumulating for a pretty long time. It is not neces- 
sary to, go into its causes or follow its course here. One thing is 
certain. Both Hindus and Musalmans joined it and both rallied 
round the Emperor of Delhi. Both suffered heavily. But the atti- 
tude of the British had been more hostile to the Musalmans from 
whom they had conquered a great part of the country. Lord Ellen- 
borough had written in 1848: ' It seems to me most unwise when 

6. Hunter, op. cit., pp. 64-5. 7. ibid., p. 144. 


we are sure of the hostility of one-tenth, not to secure the enthu- 
siastic support of the nine-tenths who are faithful. 1 cannot close 
my eyes to the belief that this race [Muslims J is fundamentally 
hostile to us and therefore our' true policy is to conciliate the Hin- 
dus/ 1 The policy had not been quite successful as the Hindus no 
less than the Muslims had enthusiastically joined the revolt of 
1857; but the rulers had not evidently lost faith in it in spite of 
their experience, as the following extracts will show: 

'Besides the charge brought by Lord Kllenborough against 
Lord Canning, the European inhabitants of Calcutta sent in a 
petition to the proper authorities demanding the recall of Lord 
Canning. The charge brought against Lord Canning by them was 
that he did not support the anti-Muslim cry raised by the European 
community in India after the Sepoy Mutiny.' The protest went 
home and had its effect and as Sir William Hunter wrote: 'After 
the mutiny the British turned upon the Musalmans as their real 
enemies/ The heavy hand of reprisal ruined many families which 
had enjoyed both pelf and power. A deliberate policy of depressing 
them was followed in all departments of Government. Musalmans 
had held the highest posts not only in the civil administration of 
the country but* had been even more prominently associated with 
the army. Two causes combined to deprive them of their predo- 
minance in the former. There was the policy of the British Govern- 
ment working Against them. It was reinforced by the attitude of 
the Musalmans themselves who after their sad experiences sulked 
in their tents and for some time did not take advantage of English 
education which had been introduced and without which Govern- 
ment employment had progressively become more and more diffi- 
cult to obtain. 

A change in the Go\ eminent policy came about 1870, parti- 
cularly after the publication of Sir VV. Hunter's book refened to 
above. He concludes his book as follows: 

'The foregoing chapters establish the two great facts of a 
standing rebel camp on the frontier and a chronic conspiracy with- 
in the Empire. The English Government can hold no parley with 
traitors in arms. Those who appeal to the sword must perish bv 
the sword.. . .But while firm towards disaffection we are bound to 
see that no just cause exists for discontent. . . . This, however, it 
can do only by removing the chronic sense of wrong which has 
grown in the hearts of the Musalmans under British rule.' 58 ' 

He then goes on to recount at great length how the Musal- 
mans, especially in Bengal, had been suppressed under the British 
Government, how they had been deprived of power and position, 
and how they had been impoverished, how .their education had 

1. Quoted by Alulananda ChWcravarti in " Call It Politics?," p. 35. 

2. W. W. Hunter : " Incjian Mussalmans," p. 147. 


been starved, how their educational endowments had been despoil- 
ed. He pleads for justice to them and specially for a system of 
education which would suit them better, and concludes: 'We 
should thus at length have the Mohammedan youth educated on 
our own plan. Without interfering" in any way with their religion, 
and in the very process of enabling them to learn their religious 
duties, we should render that religion perhaps less sincere, but cer- 
tainly less fanatic. The rising generation of Mohammedans would 
tread the steps which have conducted the Hindus, not long ago the 
most bigoted nation on earth, into their present state of easy tole- 
rance/ 8 This was the precursor of a change in the Government 
policy. The encouragement given to the Aligarh Educational 
Scheme resulted from this policy. The British Principals of the 
Aligarh College drew inspiration, and the College, full material 
benefit from it. 

The Indian army of the British before the revolt of 1857 had 
been a cosmopolitan army in which Hindus and Musalmans. Sikhs 
and Poorbiahs were mixed up. Its common effort in 1857 which 
had resulted from a growing sense of national unity against the 
foreign rulers opened their eyes and the subsequent policy was 
directed towards breaking up this solidarity. Sir John Lawrence 
wrote: 'Among the defects of the pre-mutiny army, unquestion- 
ably the worst, and one that operated most fatally against us, was 
the brotherhood and homogeneity of the Bengal Army and for this 
purpose the remedy is counterpoise of the Europeans, and secondly 
of the native races/ 4 

The result was a reorganization of the army based on tribal 
sectarian, and caste distinctions so arranged that the groups retain 
their^ tribal or communal loyalties and balance the characteristics 
and influences of one another. As the BengaJ army, which was 
composed largely of men from what are Bihar and the U. P. of the 
present day, had taken a prominent part in the Revolt of 1857 and 
as the newly conquered Punjab had come to the rescue of the 
British, the former were progressively eliminated and the latter 
made more and more predominant in the composition of the army, 
as the following table giving the percentages of men from different 
parts of India in the army quoted by Dr Ambedkar from articles by 
Mr Chowdhry in the Modern Review will show: 

3. Hunter, op. cit, p. 214. 

4. Quoted by Mehta & PatwaJ^dhan in w The Communal Triangle," p. 54. 


Percentages of Men from different parts of India in the Army 

N -W. India 

Puniab, N.-W. 


N.-E. India, 


Frontier & 



S. India 








Not less 


than 10 


than 90 






























We are now told that there are certain classes which are martial 
and there are others that are not martial. The races and communi- 
ties in the North- West of India are regarded *as the martial races 
while those of the U.P. and Bihar are not so classed. It is forgotten 
that it was the army composed largely of the latter that had con- 
quered for the British the Punjab and the N.-W.F.P. and that they 
were demartialized as a result of the deliberate policy pursued since 
1858. The immediate effect of the policy after 1857 was to exclude 
very largely the people of the U.P. and Bihar from the army^b'ring- 
ing jn their place the Sikhs, the Gurkhas, and the Garhwalis. 

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had himself suffered at the hands of 
the rebels in 1857 and had helped the British against them. He was 
nuich affected by the ruin which overtook the Musalmans. He also 
saw that they were, excluded from employment on account of their 
lack of English education. He was a nationalist and a believer in 
the Hindus and Musalmans constituting one nation which he called 
the Hindu nation on account of both being inhabitants of Hindu- 
stan. He, therefore, in his earlier days spoke and wrote like a 
nationalist and was regarded as a national leader by both Hindus 
and Musalmans. He was, however, rightly keen about improving 
the lot of Musalmans and particularly about providing educational 
facilities for them. He had helped in founding schools at places 
where he was posted during the period of his service and some of 
these are still in existence. He also believed that British rule was 
for the good of the people of India and whatever defects and short- 
comings there were in it had to be brought to the notice of the rulers 
to get them remedied or removed. In this he was at one with other 
political leaders of the time, including those who helped in founding 
the ^ Indian National Congress with whom he shared his political 
aspirations. He held that there should be no distinction between 


Europeans and Indians on the ground either of race or colour in 
the matter of Government employment, social intercourse, and 
political or constitutional rights. He accordingly supported the 
Ilbert Bill as a member of the Viceroy's Council and on the occa- 
sion of the Durbar at Agra walked out from it as in the seating 
arrangement the chairs for Europeans were placed on the platform 
and those for Indians down below. He established the Scientific 
Society of which Hindus, Musalmans and Europeans became mem- 
bers and in which papers were read. He wrote in Tahzibul AkJdaq 
as follows : 

' No nation can acquire honour and respect so long as it does 
not attain equality with the ruling race and does not participate in 
the Government of its own country. Other nations can have no 
respect for Musalmans and Hindus for their holding the position 
of clerks or other similar petty posts. Rather, that Government 
also cannot be looked upon with respect which does not give to its 
subjects due respect. Respect will be commanded only when my 
countrymen will be holding positions equal to those of the ruling 
race. The Government have in sincerity, good faith and justice 
given the right to their subjects in every country t to attain such 
position of equality. But for Indians there are many difficulties 
and obstacles. We must work with determination and perseverance 
and should not keep back on account of the fear of any trouble 
befalling us/ 5 

In 1853 when the Local Self-Government Bill was before .the 
Council he suggested that, as there were people following different 
religions and rites and customs in India, it was necessary that some 
places on the boards should be filled by nomination and it was 
decided that one-third of the seats should be so filled, so that people 
who represented the interests of particular classes but who were 
not elected could be nominated by the Government to remove this 
deficiency. It is noteworthy that he did not demand that, seats 
should be reserved for Musalmans or that there should be separate 
electorates for them. Indeed he could not have made this demand 
when he held that Hindus and Musalmans constituted one nation, 
as the following extracts from his writings will show : 

' The word nation (Qaum) applies to people who inhabit a 
country . . . Remember that Hindu and Musalman are religious 
words; otherwise, Hindus, Musalmans and even Christians who 
inhabit this country all constitute, on this account, one nation. 
Whtn all these groups are one nation, then whatever benefits the 
country, which is the country of all of them, should benefit all ... 
Now the time is gone when only on account of difference in religion 
the inhabitants of a country should be regarded as of two different 

*" ^ r }f latio ^ , of _ < l uo t ation g^en by M. Tufail Ahmad in "Musalmanon Ka Roshan 
l^ pp. 28X-2. 


nations.' 6 

On another occasion he said: 'Just as the Aryan people are 
called Hindus, even so are also Musalmans Hindus, that is to say, 
inhabitants of Hindustan/ 1 

Addressing the Hindus of the Punjab he said: ( The word 
Hindu that you have used for yourselves is in my opinion not cor- 
rect, because that is not in my view the name of a religion. Rather 
every inhabitant of Hindustan can call himself a Hindu. I am 
therefore sorry that you do not regard me as a Hindu although I 
too am an inhabitant of Hindustan/ 8 

No wonder that Hindus, no less than the Musalmans, regarded 
him as their leader. No wonder that in 1884 he organized a meeting 
for Surendranath Bannerji to address about simultaneous examina- 
tions for the Civil Service and himself presided over it. No wonder 
that he was a great admirer of the Bengalis who were the torch- 
bearers in the national movement. 

It is an interesting and intriguing question how such a perso- 
nage, holding such views, could only a few years later advise the 
Musalmans to keep away from the national movement which found 
its expression jn the Indian National Congress founded in 1885 
with the help of a European member of the Civil Service, Mr A. O. 
Hume. The answer is to be found in the influence which the Eng- 
lish Principals *>f the Aligarh M. A. O. College came to acquire, and 
the history of Muslim politics of the following 15 or 20 years is a 
history of the activity of these shrewd Englishmen who managed 
to create the gulf, which with some interruptions has gone on 
widening ever since. 


As stated above Sir Syed Ahmad was very keen about the 
English education of Musalmans and he founded in 1875 a school 
which developed into the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College 
and later into the Muslim University, of Aligarh. One Mr Beck 
became its Principal in 1883 and continued in that position till his 
death in 1899. He came in right good time. English education 
which had spread among Hindus had brought with it ideas of 
freedom and democracy which were finding vocal expression. Na- 
tionalism had been growing apace. The British realized that to 
counteract this growing nationalism, the time had arrived to draw 
under their protecting wings the Muslims who had so far been 

6. Tufail Ahmad: "Musalmanon Ka Koshan Mustaqbal," p, 283, quoted from "Majmua- 
i-Lectures Sir Syed Ahmad," p. 167. 

7. ibid., !>. 283, quoted from " Sir Syed ke Akhri Mozamin," p. 55. 

8. ibid., p. 283, quoted from " Safarnama Punjab Sir Syed Ahmad," p. 139. 


looked upon with disfavour. Mr Beck carried this policy through 
with missionary zeal. ' Mr Beck assiduously tried to wean Sir Syed 
away from nationalism, to transfer his political attachment from 
the British liberals to the conservatives and to evoke in him enthu- 
siasm for a rapprochement between the Muslims and the Government. 
He was singularly successful in his objective/ 1 One of the first 
things he did was to secure editorial control of the Institute Ga- 
zette which was being conducted for years by Sir Syed. Unlike 
European professors who had been in the College before him, Mr 
Beck used to mix very freely with the Muslim students and became 
very popular among them. Other English professors took their 
cue from him and helped in starting various organizations and 
activities within the College. On account of their influence the 
district officers also began to associate themselves with the acti- 
vities and sports of the College, so much so that in 1888 Sir Auck- 
land Colvin, the Lieutenant Governor of the Province, compared 
the students of the College with those of the public schools and 
universities of England. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great ad- 
mirer of the English way of living and tried to introduce a standard 
of living among the students which was regarded l)y several of his 
co-workers and supporters as too high and too expensive for a 
comparatively poor country. But this very fact, coupled with the 
influence the British Principal and Professors had v r ith the Govern- 
ment and the change in the Government policy, helped in securing 
Government posts and employment for the students of the Aligarh 
College. All this could not fail to have its effect on Sir Syed Ahmad. 

The policy of the Institute Gazette under the editorial control 
of Mr Beck, but still under the nominal editoYship of Sir Syed 
Ahmad, underwent a change. Sir Syed was in those days a great 
admirer of Bengalis. ' Till then there was a great impression on 
Sir Syed about the bona fides of Bengalis. He thought that on 
account of them there had been great improvement in education, 
and ideas of freedom and patriotism had spread in the country. 
He used to say that they were the head and crown of all the com- 
munities of India and he was proud of them/ 2 ' Mr Beck began to 
write in the Institute Gazette editorial articles against the Bengalis 
and their movement which were attributed to Sir Syed, and the 
Bengalis began to criticise Sir Syed. In this way an open conflict 
began .with the Bengalis/ 8 It was at this juncture, when Mr Beck 
had succeeded in creating an atmosphere against the Bengalis, that 
the first session of the Indian National Congress was held in Bom- 
bay in December 1885 under the presidency of Mr W. C. Bonnerji, 
a Bengali. 

There was nothing ih the objects of the Congress to which 

1. Mehta & Patwardhan, op. cit, p. 58. 2. Tufail Ahmad, op, cit, p. 291. 
3. ibid., p. 292* 


objection could be taken by an Indian. The resolutions passed at 
the first Congress demanded the election of the Secretary of State's 
Council, an increase in the number of elected members in the Pro- 
vincial Legislative Councils, establishment of such Councils in the 
Punjab and U.P., simultaneous Civil Service Examinations in India 
and England, that there should be no increase in the military ex- 
penditure and that there should be no annexation of Upper Burma. 
The two resolutions regarding simultaneous examinations for 
Civil Service and the extension of Legislative Councils dealt with 
matters which had been discussed by Sir Surendranath Bannerji in 
his speech at a public meeting at Aligarh in 1884 which had been 
organized and presided over by Sir Syed Ahmad himself, These 
subjects had evoked opposition from Anglo-Indian newspapers to 
which Mr Beck contributed articles. Sir Syed Ahmad did not say 
anything at the time but in December 1886 at the time of establish- 
ment of the Muhammedan Educational Congress which later came 
to be known as the Muslim Educational Conference, he said that 
he did not agree with those who thought that the Musalmans would 
rnake^progress by taking up discussion of political matters and 
that he rather thought that education was the only means for their 

The second session of the Congress was held in Calcutta in 
December 1886 under the presidentship of Mr Dadabhai Naoroji 
and it passed resolutions demanding trial by jury, separation of 
judicial and executive functions and enrolment of volunteers for 
defence purposes. None of the resolutions passed at the first two 
sessions of the Congress contained anything which was opposed to 
Muslim interests. Sir Syed himself had supported simultaneous 
examinations for Civil Service. The demand for separation of 
executive and judicial functions was in keeping with the practice 
followed during the Muslim rule in which there had been such 
separation in force. The two functions had been combined during 
the time of the Company and after a period of separation again 
combined in 1858 after the mutiny. The demand for the increase 
of the elective element in Legislative Councils and their establish- 
ment in the Provinces where they did not exist had also received 
his support in earlier days, although in 1883 he had expressed his 
difference about the method of election. So there was no reason 
why Sir Syed Ahmad should oppose the Congress. But some offi- 
cials looked upon the Congress movement as a revolutionary move- 
ment and he could not help being influenced by the idea which was 
impressed upon him, particularly by Mr Beck, that the education 
of Musalmans had not yet reached a stage when they could be 
trusted to confine themselves to constitutional agitation and that 
if they were roused they might once again express their discontent 
in "the way they had done in 1857; and he was fully convinced 


that their participation in political agitation would be to their detri- 
ment. Mr A. O. Hume wrote an open letter to Sir Syed Ahmad 
which was published in the Institute Gazette of I2th December 
1887 with Sir Syed's reply. 

The third session of the Congress was held in Madras in 
December 1887 and was presided over by Mr Badrudclin Tyabji 
and attended by a large number of Muslims. The higher officials 
of the Government had not yet adopted a hostile attitude and the 
Governor of Madras gave a party to the delegates of the Congress. 
The resolutions of the Congress demanded the appointment of 
Indians to commissioned posts in the Army, the establishment of a 
Military College in India, the amendment of the Arms Act, exemp- 
tion of incomes of less than a thousand a year from the Income 
Tax, and encouragement of technical education. The Muham- 
meclan Educational Congress was held at Lucknow about the same 
time as the Congress and it was at a public meeting held after this 
session that Sir Syed Ahmad delivered his first speech against the 
Congress. It is surprising how Sir Syed Ahmad who had always 
insisted on equality between Indians and Englishmen could^go so 
far as to insist that members of Legislatures should not be appoint- 
ed by election because it might bring in men from the common 
ranks who are unfit to be addressed as ; My honourable colleague ' 
by the Viceroy and who could not be allowed to sit at the same table 
with Dukes, Earls and other noblemen at social" dinners or in 
assemblies, although they might have attained B.A. and M.A. 
degrees and were otherwise quite capable. The Government, there- 
fore, could not be blamed for npminating Raises (Aristocrats) to 
the Councils. He opposed simultaneous examinations for Civil 
Service on the ground that although as a result of examinations in 
England any one, whether he belonged to an aristocratic family or 
happened to be the son, say, of a tailor could ciiter the service, but 
as here in India this fact was not known, the people submitted to 
their rule; but the aristocratic people of India would never* agree 
to be ruled by lower classes among their own people with whose 
origin they were acquainted. 

Mr Badrudclin Tyabji wrote to Sir Syed Ahmad that if the 
Muslim delegates were opposed to any matter being considered by 
the Congress then it would not be taken up. Sir Syed Ahmad 
replied that because the Congress was a political body there was 
no political question which would not be opposed to the interest of 
the Musalmans. We thus see that Mr Keck had completely suc- 
ceeded in misguiding and converting Sir Syed Ahmad. No wonder 
that Sir Theodore Morrison asserts in his history of the Aligarh 
College that as a result of Sir Syed's speech the Musalmans alto- 
gether left the Congress and began to oppose the introduction of 
representative institutions in India. In March 1888 Sir Auckland 


Colvin visited the Aligarh College and in his reply to an address 
extolled the institution and its students as no one had done before. 
In the following April Sir Syed Ahmad delivered his second speech' 
against the Congress at Meerut The Congress was to be held at 
Allahabad in the following December, 1888, and Sir Auckland 
Colvin and his Government did their best to prevent the session 
but it was held in spite of them. Lord Dufferin who had encourag- 
ed Mr A. O. Hume to establish the Congress had by this time 
become opposed to it. 

A movement had been started about this time for cow- 
protection of which advantage was taken by pro-Government Mu- 
salmans and they held a meeting at Allahabad in which they passed 
resolutions not only against cow-protection but also against Mus- 
lim participation in the Congress. Some persons issued a Fatwa 
against Musalmans joining the Congress. Against this Moulvi Ab- 
dul Qaclir Luclhianwi obtained and got published Fatwas under the 
signatures of Ulema of Ludhiana, Jullundcr, Iloshiarpur, Kapur- 
thala, Amritsar, Chapra, Gttzrat, Jaunpur, Ferc/zpur, Kasur, Muzaf- 
farnagar, Delhi, Rampur, Bareilly, Moradabad and even Madina 
Manauara and Baghdad Sharif. Many of those who had signed 
these Fatwas were famous Ulema and divines of the time. The 
Fatwas stated that in worldly matters it was allowable for Muslims 
to work in conciliation with the Hindus in the Congress. We thus 
see that while on the one hand there was the great personality of 
Sir Syed Ahmad opposed to the Congress, on the other hand the 
Musalmans of Bombay and Madras under the leadership of Messrs 
Tyabji, AH Mahommad Bhimji and Rahmatullah Sayani were in 
favour of it and noted Ulema sanctioned Muslim participation 
in it. 

In August i8$8 was established the United Indian Patriotic 
Association at Aligarh in which both Hindus and Musalmans join- 
ed. Tjie objects of the Association were: (i) to inform the mem- 
bers of Parliament and the people of England through newspapers 
and tracts that all the communities of India, the aristocracy and the 
Princes were not with the Congress and to contradict its state- 
ments; (2) to keep the Parliament and the people of England 
informed about the opinions of Hindu and Muslim organizations 
which were opposed to the Congress; and (3) to help in the main- 
tenance of law and order and the strengthening of the British rule 
in India and to wean away people from the Congress. This whole 
scheme was the result of Mr Beck's efforts and he and Sir Syed 
were put in charge of it. A branch of the Association was opened 
in England at the house of Mr Morrison who subsequently became 
the Principal of Aligarh College after Mr Beck's death. It was 
decided to appoint princes as patrons of the Association. Many of 
the big Hindu and Musalman landlords and some Europeans joined 


the Association. Raja Sheoprasad proposed in the Taluqdar Asso- 
ciation of Oudh that an Indian Loyal Association should be esta- 
blished and that the Patriotic Association should become a branch 
of it. He also proposed that the Government should be requested 
to stop speeches and writings in Indian languages which were likely 
to create trouble and revolt. The object was that the Congress 
should be suppressed. In spite of all this opposition of the Govern- 
ment, the United Indian Patriotic Association and men like Raja 
Sheoprasad, the Allahabad session of the Congress was attended 
by 1248 delegates as against 607 who had attended the previous 
session; and it was pointed out by the Muslim delegates that the 
increase in their attendance was directly the result of the oppo- 
sition of the leaders of Aligarh. It is worth noting that the Con- 
gress session at Allahabad against which so much opposition had 
been engineered passed resolutions supporting temperance, de- 
manding increased expenditure on Education, extension of Perma- 
nent Settlement, and opposing the Salt Tax. 

In 1889 Mr Bradlaugh introduced a Bill in Parliament with 
the object of establishing democratic institutions in Indi$. Mr 
Beck prepared a memorandum against it, in which it was stated 
that democratic institutions were unsuited to India becaruse there 
were different communities inhabiting it. He obtained a large num- 
ber of signatures on the Memorandum through the^instrumentality 
of the students of the Aligarh College who were sent out in batches. 
One such group went to Delhi under the leadership of Mr Beck him- 
self. ' He himself sat at the door of Jama-e-masjid and the students 
under his instructions secured signatures from those going in for 
prayers by representing that the Hindus wanted to stop cow- 
slaughter and this was the petition to be sent to the Government 
against this move. This statement is made by Walait Hussain 
Saheb in the Conference Gazette of Aligarh. However, having 
secured 20,735 signatures in this way in Delhi alone this marvellous 
petition was sent to be presented to the Parliament in England in 
J890.' 4 

The United Indian Patriotic Association continued to oppose 
the Congress in the name of Musalmans for some years but in 1893 
a new organization under the name of Mahomedan Anglo-Oriental 
Defence Association of Upper India was founded. The objects of 
the Association were: (a) to place the opinions of Musalmans be- 
fore Englishmen and the Government of India and to protect their 
political rights; (b) to prevent political agitation from spreading 
among the Musalmans; (c) to adopt all such means as would be 
helpful in strengthening the British rule and maintaining law and 
order and creating sense of loyalty among the people. It would 
appear that the Patriotic Association was a joint organization of 

4. Tufail Ahmad, op. cit., pp. 311*12. 


Hindus and Muslims. Mr Beck could not tolerate their joint action 
even in strengthening the British rule and he, therefore, got the 
Defence Association established in which Musalmans were separat- 
ed from other Indian communities but joined the reactionary Eng- 
lishmen and even gave it the name of a ' Defence Association'. 
This name was borrowed from the Anglo-Indian Defence Asso- 
ciation which had been established against Lord Ripon in 1883 but 
which had ceased to exist after completing its work. Mr Beck 
became its Secretary. 

In his opening speech at the first session of the Association he 
pointed out that although the Patriotic Association had secured 
signatures against Mr Bradlaug'h's Bill, it suffered from two serious 
defects. It was a joint organization of Hindus and Musalmans and 
had many other organizations affiliated In the second place 
it used to hold public meetings and thus create public agitation. 
The Defence Association would be an association of Musalmans 
from which Hindus were excluded and it would not hold public 
meetings or create agitation; nor would it affiliate institutions. It 
would have a Council and the entire work of the Association should 
be entrusted to the Council and should not be left in the hands of 
the general members. It is worth while quoting a significant pas- 
sage from this opening speech of Mr Beck. ' For the last few years 
there are two Jdnds of agitation which have been gaining strength 
in the country one is the National Congress and the other is the 
movement against cow-slaughter. Of these the first is entirely 
opposed to Englishmen and the second movement is against the 
Musalmans. The object of the National Congress is that the poli- 
tical power of the English Government should be transferred to 
some groups amongst the Hindus, the ruling* race should be 
weakened, the people should be given arms, the army should be 
weakened and the cost on it be reduced. The Musalmans can have 
no sympathy with these objects. The object of the movement of 
cow-slaughter is to prevent Musalmans from cow-sacrifice and to 
prevent both Englishmen and Musalmans from slaughtering cows 
for food. To prevent cow-slaughter they boycott their opponents 
to starve them into submission. This has resulted in bloody riots 
in Bombay, Azamgarh, etc. The Musalmans and Englishmen have 
become the targets of these two movements. It is therefore neces- 
sary that Musalmans and Englishmen should unite in opposing 
them and that the establishment of democratic political institutions 
shouitl he opposed as they are not suited to this country. We-must, 
therefore, carry on propaganda in favour of true loyalty and unity 
of action/ 5 

We have already seen how Mr Beck had sent up a representa- 
tion agjtinst Mr ifradlaugh's Bill with some 50,000 signatures. He 

5. Tufail Ahmad, op) cit, p. 315. 


got another representation sent with Muslim signatures against 
simultaneous examinations for Civil Service. When news was re- 
ceived that the request contained in the representation had been 
accepted the Defence Association passed a thanks-giving resolu- 
tion, adding that to hold simultaneous examinations would be 
detrimental to the stability of British rule in India, that the Govern- 
ment would be weakened, and that there would be difficulty in 
protecting life and property on which the moral and material 
prosperity of India depends. 

Mr Beck also engineered opposition to appointments being 
made in India by competitive examinations and suggested that 
the Musalmans should rather depend on their loyalty to the British 
Government to secure appointments. The Defence Association 
carried on propaganda in England also where Mr Beck himself 
delivered a lecture in 1X95. The thesis of (his lecture was that 
Anglo-Muslim unity was possible but Hindu-Muslim unity was not 
possible and that parliamentary institutions were entirely unsuited 
to India. If they were established the Musalmans being the mino- 
rity would be overpowered by the Hindus who are in a majority. 
In this lecture he sometimes patted the Muslims on the back and 
sometimes threatened them with dire consequences if they did not 
behave and followed the policy of the Hindus. 

The British GovcrnnuMit at that time was thinking of pushing 
on its forward policy on the Frontier and wanted to increase the 
military expenditure which was opposed by the Congress. Mr Beck 
in his annual report of the Defence Association, 1896, emphasized 
that for the stability of the Government it was necessary that the 
army and the navy should be strengthened and Sir Syed Ahmad 
himself placed a resolution to the effect that the Association was 
opposed to any decrease in the military expenditure. In proposing 
this resolution he said that in his opinion the number of English 
soldiers was very small and that he had impressed upon, Lord 
Dufferin on one occasion that the army was insufficient for the 
defence of the Frontier. 6 As against this the Congress passed reso- 
lutions opposing the forward policy of the Government on the 
Frontier and suggesting that a friendly policy towards the Frontier 
people should be followed and the heavy expenditure on the Swat 
Valley should be stopped. It is worth noting that the Congress 
was opposing the forward policy which was responsible for the 
death and destruction of the Frontier people who were all Musal- 
mans, while the Mohammedan Defence Association was demanding 
increased expenditure and a larger army for that purpose. 

All this could not fail to cause a searching of hearts amongst 
many Muslims who found themselves torn betwen loyalty to Sir 
Syed on the one hand and loyalty to the true interests of Musal- 

6. Tufail Ahmad, op. cit, p. 330. 


mans on the other, as appears from what Nawab Waqar-ul-mulk 
wrote a few years later, in 1907. 4 Seeing all this, those who had 
the interest of the community at heart became anxious and consul- 
tations began to take place. Ultimately some of the trustees in spite 
of the po\ver, prestige and greatness of Sir Syecl Ahmad, whose 
peer will not be found for a long time, came to the conclusion that 
they should keep in view only the interest of the community and 
set aside any consideration which they had for the great Leader. 
It was decided to publish a series of articles in Paisa Ikhbar of 
Lahore. These articles were not to be anonymous but were to have 
the signature of men like Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mnlk, Shamshul- 
Ulema Moulvi Khwaja Altaf Husain Hali, and my humble self was 
also to be a signatory. The first of the series was written by me 
and was sent to Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk Bahadur and Shamshul- 
Ulema Moulvi Hali Saheb, who were probably living at Aligarh 
during those clays, for their signatures. Suddenly news of the 
death of the Leader reached me and I immediately wired to Nawab 
Mohsin-ul-Mulk to return the articles because after his death we 
had n<j other thought except of his goodness and matchless quali- 
ties. As the idea of writing that series of articles was given up 
at that time arid no complaints could any longer be harboured, 1 
am making these facts known today only for the good of the 
College/ 7 ' 

After Sir Syed's death in 1898 Mr Heck continued his policy 
but he too died in the following year 1899. 

In the words of Sir Arthur Slrachey, Chief Justice of Allaha- 
bad High Court, he was one of those Englishmen who were 
engaged in different parts of the world in building up the Empire 
and he died like a soldier doing his duty. 

Mr Theodore Morrison became the Principal of the College 
after Mr Beck. It* will be recalled that it was at Mr Morrison's 
house in England that a branch of the Patriotic Association had 
been formed and it was natural that he should take Mr Beck's place 
not only as the Principal of the Aligarh College but also as his 
representative in politics. Certain events happened which helped 
the work of alienating the Musalmans from the Hindus in which 
the English Principals of the Aligarh* College were engaged, In 
April 1900 the Government of the United Provinces issued a reso- 
lution which led to the Urdu-Nagri agitation in the Province ; 
the Hindus supported the Government move for permitting'thc use 
of Nagri script in courts and iKe Musalmans opposed it. For many 
years the Hindus had been agitating for the use of Nagri script 
but on account of the opposition of Sir Syed they were un- 
successful. In 1900 an epidemic of plague appeared in the 
Province^ and the Government adopted measures of segregation 

7. Extract from "Waqar-i-Hayat," p. 420, quoted by Moulvi Tufail Ahmad, op. cit. D. 334. 


which led to riots in some towns in which both Hindus and Musal- 
mans joined. One such riot took place in Cawnpore on the ist 
April 1900 and caused trouble and anxiety to the Government and 
within a fortnight of this incident the resolution sanctioning the use 
of Nagri script in courts and offices of the Government came out. 
The result was a conflict between Hindus and Musahnans. A meet- 
ing of protest was held at Aligarh in May 1900 under the president- 
ship of the Nawab of Chhatari. Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk delivered 
a strong speech, and a resolution requesting the Government to 
withdraw the resolution was passed. This brought upon the Pre- 
sident the displeasure of the Government and he resigned his presi- 
dentship. Then Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk became the President and 
delivered some speeches about it. The Lieutenant Governor him- 
self visited Aligarh, saw the trustees of the College and told them 
that Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk must choose between remaining the, 
President of the Urdu Conference and working as the Secretary of 
the College. He could not carry on political agitation while continu- 
ing as Secretary of the College. In view of the importance of the 
College work he had to give up the Presidentship of the Urdu Con- 
ference under pressure of the trustees. The work of the Patriotic 
Association and the Mohammedan Defence Association was to 
oppose the Congress and to oppose the introduction of parliamen- 
tary institutions into India, simultaneous examinations for the Civil 
Service, reduction of military expenditure, abolition of Salt tax, 
amendment of the Arms Act, etc. etc. But all this was not consi- 
dered as political work and not only the Secretary of the College 
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan but also its principal Mr Beck had been 
permitted and even encouraged by the Government to carry it on. 
But Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk was not permitted to continue as 
President of the Urdu Conference because it was considered poli- 
tical work. The reason is obvious. The former suited the Govern- 
ment, the latter did not. 

Mr Morrison saw that the agitation against Nagri script among 
the Musahnans could be suppressed with difficulty and he, there- 
fore, advised them that it was not desirable to have any political 
organization at all. * He pointed out to them the harmful effect of 
democratic institutions and wrote in a letter published in the Insti- 
tute Gazette in 1901 that ' democratic rule would reduce the mino- 
rity to the position of hewers of wood and drawers of water/ 8 He 
also opined that it was not desirable to have a separate organization 
of Musahnans, as the big men of thecommunity for fear of Govern- 
ment displeasure would not join it, and this would create differences 
amongst the Musahnans themselves. He, therefore, concluded: 
' In my opinion a political organisation instead of being benefical 
would be injurious to the interests of Musahnans, because during' 

8. Tufail Ahmad, op, cit, p. 349. & 


the last twenty or twenty-five years the Government has been 
showing concession to them. If like the Congress they also started 
an organisation and demanded their right and the Parliament were 
to appoint a Commission the Musalmans would not derive as much 
benefit from it as they would if they were to leave their fate in the 
hands of Sir Anthony Macdonell.' 9 He also pointed out that Go- 
vernment officials used to show preference to Musalmans which 
would cease if they also made political demands. He, therefore, 
suggested that Musalmans should have only a Council with an 
office manned by able men and equipped with political literature, to 
advise members of legislatures. His further advice was that the 
Musalmans should pay more attention to economic than to political 

The proposal was never implemented because funds could not 
be raised and all political movement amongst the Musalmans was, 
in the words of Moulvi Tufail Ahmad, buried under the ground for 
the time being. 

Although the Government were opposed to the Secretary of 
theXtollege participating in the Nagri-Urdu controversy because 
of its political^nature, they did not hesitate to use the College and 
its students for political purposes. In those days Russia and Eng- 
land were rival powers courting the goodwill of Persia. In 1902 
Lord Curzon Considered it desirable to have some boys from Persia 
educated at the Aligarh College. Mr Morrison proposed that a 
deputation from the College should be sent to Persia. When Nawab 
Mohsin-ul-mulk objected to the cost of the deputation being paid 
out of the College funds Mr Morrison forced his hands and he had 
to yield. A deputation did go to Persia and some boys of noble 
families of that country became students of the Aligarh College. 

All Musalmaps were not prepared to accept the lead of Mi- 
Morrison, and Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk started in 1901 an organiza- 
tion Ijnown as the Mohammedan Political Organization and worked 
hard to make it successful. The objects were moderate but all its 
efforts proved unavailing as the Government officials did not -ip- 
prove of it. It was not until the Government needed a political 
organization of the Musalmans that one could be started and work- 
ed successfully, as we shall presently see. 


Bengal was the earliest Province to come under the rule of the 
East India Company. English education made its first appearance 
in that Province. The Bengali Hindus were quick to take advantage 
of it. The Musalmans, in pursuance of the policy then in vogue, 

9. Tufail Ahmad, op. cit, p, 350. 


were deliberately kept back by the Government. The Hindus not 
only filled Government posts in all departments but also produced 
great reformers, great lawyers, medical practitioners, scientists, 
public speakers, writers and men who had drunk deep from the 
fountain of English literature and had acquired a great admiration 
for British institutions, particularly the British Constitution. It 
was not to be expected that such a community could long remain 
satisfied with posts in the lower rungs of the Government service 
ladder. Many showed a growing desire for the introduction of 
progressive institutions on the British model. They contributed to 
a very great extent to the awakening amongst the educated classes 
of the country as a whole and were in no small measure responsible 
also for the establishment of the Indian National Congress, over the 
first session of which a Bengali, Mr W. C. Bonnerji, presided. They 
had naturally won the esteem and admiration of all men of progres- 
sive thought, and, as has been stated above, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan 
was one of them. But for the very same reason they became suspect 
in the eyes of British officials who did not conceal either their con- 
tempt or their fear of them. They had by their ability and demotion 
to duty earned the admiration of Sir Anthony Macdonell, who was 
(hen the Lieut. Governor of Bengal, for their work as Municipal 
Commissioners of the Municipality of Calcutta. Lord Curzon with 
his masterful personality was not to be expected to tolerate the 
rising influence of the Bengalis. One of his first acts was, therefore, 
to attack the Municipality of Calcutta, by reducing the number of 
elected members. There was to be an official Chairman and thus 
the Municipality came under the controlling power of the Govern- 
ment. This attack on the premier city which was the centre and 
source of nationalism in northern and eastern India at least, if not 
in the whole country, was naturally resented. This incensed Lord 
Curzon still more and in December 1903 he adumbrated a scheme 
for cutting out the Chittagong and Dacca Divisions from Bengal 
and tacking them to Assam. There was great agitation against it. 
Even Nawab Salimullah Khan of Dacca regarded it as a 'beastly 
arrangement '. Lord Curzon came into further conflict with the 
public opinion of India on account of his address at the Convocation 
of the Calcutta University in which he said that orientals had no 
regard for truth. There were protests against this speech. These 
constant protests further enraged Lord Curzon. He went to Dacca 
and in a public meeting he told the Musalmans that his object in 
ptirtitioning Bengal was not only to reduce the burden on the 
Lieutenant Governor who had in his charge such a big area as 
was then comprised within the Province of Bengal, but also to 
create a Muslim Province in which they would have a preponderat- 
ing voice. Many Musalmans were taken in by this. Nawab Sali- 
mullah of Dacca who had been opposed to the plan of partition 


became one of its ardent supporters, although his brother Khwaja 
Atiqullah continued his opposition to it. It is said by Mr Gurumukh 
Nihal Singh that the support of Nawab Salimullah of Dacca was 
won by advancing a loan of about 100,000 at a low rate of interest, 
vsoon after the partition. 1 In face of the unanimous opposition of 
the Hindus and a great many Musalmans led by Mr A. Rasool and 
Khwaja Atiqullah, the Province was partitioned. ' The object of 
the measure', in the words of Sir Henry Cotton, \vas 'to shatter 
the unity and to disintegrate the feeling of solidarity which are 
established in the Province. It was no administrative reason that 
lay at the root of this scheme. It was a part and parcel of Lord 
Curzon's policy to enfeeble the growing powers and to destroy the 
political tendencies of a patriotic spirit/ In the words of the 
Statesman the object was ' to foster in Eastern Bengal the growth 
of Mohammedan power, which, it is hoped, will have the effect of 
keeping in check the rapidly growing strength of the Hindu com- 
munity/ 2 

Lord Curzon left India the legacy of a very bitter controvetsy 
over the partition question in which not only Bengalis but people 
from other parts of the country also joined. It very often happens 
that plans mad<? by men of little minds go awry. And so it was in 
India. What was intended to suppress political life served as a 
great inspiration. The anti-partition agitation roused the counlry 
as a whole as nothing else had done since 1857. 

When Lord Minto became Viceroy in November 1905 after 
Lord Curzon's retirement, he was face to face with a very tense 
situation and within a few months of his taking office he wrote to 
Mr John Morley: 'As to Congress . . . we must recognize them 
and be friends with the best of them, yet I am afraid there is much 
that is absolutely disloyal in the movement and that there is danger 
for the future. ... I have been thinking a good deal lately of a 
possible counterpoise to Congress aims. J think we may find a 
solution in a Council of Princes or in an elaboration of that idea : 
a Privy Council not only of native Rulers, but a few other big men, 
to meet say once a year for a week or a fortnight at Delhi for in- 
stance. Subjects for discussion and procedure would have to be 
very carefully thought out, but we should get different ideas from 
those of Congress, emanating from men already possessing great 
interest in the good government of India. . . / 8 

Mr Morley wrote on the 6th of June following, to Lord Minto: 
' Everybody warns us that a new spirit is growing and spreading- 
over India: Lawrence, Chirol, Sydney Low, all sing the same song: 
" You cannot go on governing in the same spirit; you have got to 

1. Gurumukh Nihal Singh : "Landmarks in Indian Constitutional and National Deve- 
lopment, p. 319. 

2. From 'tndia in Transition" quoted by Mehta & Patwardhan in "Communal Triangl*" 
p. 64. 3. Lady Minto : "India Minto and Morley," pp. 28-9. 


deal with the Congress party and Congress principles, whatever 
you may think of them. Be sure that before long the Mohamedans 
will throw in their lot with the Congressmen against you " and so 
on and so forth/ 4 

The idea of establishing a Council of Princes to act as coun- 
terpoise to Congress and generally to every national upsurge did 
not fructify at the time. But another and a more effective method 
was found. Lord Minto soon began to elaborate, in consultation 
with his Council, a plan for reforms which he hoped would satisfy 
at least the moderate elements in India. In this connexion while 
on the one side the scheme was being elaborated, on the other an 
attempt was made to wean away the Muslims from the politics of 
the country. Moulvi Syed Tufail Ahmad Mangalori writes: ' On 
the 3Oth July 1906 Haji Mahommad Ismail Khan Sahib, Rais Ali- 
g'arh, who was at Nainital and had access to officials, sent a draft 
of representation to Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk Bahadur, Honorary 
Secretary of the College, that the Musalmans should also demand 
their rights. And generally speaking the educated Musalmans 
turned their attention to this. In those clays Mr Archbo[,d, the 
Principal of the College, was at Simla on account of the long vaca- 
tion and used to meet the high officials there. He had a talk with 
the Private Secretary of the Viceroy about a proposed deputation. 
The letter which Mr Archbold wrote on the loth August 1906, after 
the talk, to the late Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk was printed and distri- 
buted to the members of the deputation. It appears from a sum- 
mary of this letter which is given below how the Principals of the 
Aligarh College used to guide the details of the political policy of 
the Musalmans and how they occupied the position of a resident of 
the Government at Aligarh. Every word of this summary deserves 
careful study: 

' " Colonel Dunlop Smith [Private Secretary to the Viceroy] 
now writes to me that the Viceroy is prepared to receive the depu- 
tation of Musalmans and intimates me that a formal petition be 
submitted for it. In this connection the following matters require 

'"The first question is ? that of sending the petition. To my 
mind it would be enough that some leaders of Musalmans, even 
though they may^not have been elected, should put their signatures 
1o it. The second is the question as to who the members of the depu- 
tation Should be. They should be representatives of all the pro- 
vinces. The third question is of the contents of the address. In this 
connection my opinion is that in the address loyalty should be ex- 
pressed, that thanks should be offered that in accordance with the 
settled policy steps are going to be taken in the direction of self- 
government according to which the door will be opened fqr Indians 

4. Minto, op. dt, p. 30. 


to offices. 'But apprehension should be expressed that by introduc- 
ing election injury will be done to Musalman minority and hope 
should be expressed that in introducing the system of nomination 
or granting representation on religious basis the opinion of Musal- 
mans will be given due weight. The opinion should also be given 
that in a country like India it is necessary that weight should be 
attached to the views of zemindars. 

* "My personal opinion is that the wisest thing for Musalmans 
to do would be that they support the system of nomination because 
the time for introducing election has not yet come. Besides it will 
be very difficult for them if the system of election is introduced to 
secure their proper share. 

' "But in all these matters I want to remain behind the screen 
and this move should come from you. You are aware how anxious 
I am for the good of the Musalmans and I would, therefore, render 
all help with the greatest pleasure. I can prepare and draft the 
address for you. If it be prepared in Bombay then I can revise it 
because I know the art of drawing up petitions in good language. 
But Nawabsaheb, please remember that if within a short time any 
great end effective action has to be taken then you should act 
quickly." ' 5 

Nawab Mohsin-ul-mulk accordingly, in the words of Lady 
Minto, 'engineered' the Mohammedan deputation. The address 
was prepared apd the deputation under the leadership of His High- 
ness the Agha Khan waited on the Viceroy on October I, 1906. 
Lady Minto writes in her journal of that date: 

This has been a very eventful day: as some one said to me, 
"an epoch in Indian history". We are aware of the feeling of unrest 
that exists throughout India, and the dissatisfaction that prevails 
amongst people of all classes and creeds. The Mohamedan popu- 
lation which numbers 62 millions, who have always been intensely 
loyal, resent not having proper representation and consider them- 
selv6s 4 slighted in many ways, preference having been given to the 
Hindus. The agitators have been most anxious to foster this feeling 
and have naturally done their utmost to secure the co-operation of 
this vast community. The younger generation were wavering, 
inclined to throw in their lot with advanced agitators of the Con- 
gress, and a howl went up that the loyal Mohamedans were not to 
be supported, and that the agitators were to obtain their demands 
through agitation. The Mohamedans decided, before taking action, 
that they would bring an address before the Viceroy, mentioning 
their grievances. The meeting was fixed for today and about 70 
delegates from all parts of India have arrived. The ceremony took 
place this morning in the Ball-room. The girls and I went in by a 
side door to hear the proceedings while Minto advanced up the 

5. M, Tufail Ahmad: "Roshan Mustaqbal," pp. 360-1. 6. Minto, op. cit., p. 56. 


room with his staff and took his seat on the dais. The Agha Khan 
is the spiritual head of the Khoja Moslem community. He claims 
to be descended from AH and is their Ruler by divine right, but 
without territory. The Prince was selected to read the very long 
but excellent Address stating all their grievances and aspirations. 
Minto then read his answer which he had thought out most care- 
fully "You need not ask my pardon for telling me that 'respresen- 
tative institutions of the European type are entirely new to the 
people of India 1 or that their introduction here requires the most 
earnest thought and care. I should be very far from welcoming all 
the political machinery of the western world among the hereditary 
tiaditions and instincts of Eastern races.. . .Your address, as I 
understand it, is a claim that, in any system of representation, 
whether it affects a Municipality, a District Board, or Legislative 
Council, in which it is proposed to introduce or increase an electoral 
organisation, the Mohamedan community should be represented 
as a community. You point out that in many cases electoral bodies, 
as now constituted, cannot be expected to return a Mohamedan 
candidate, and that if by chance they did so, it could only be at the 
sacrifice of such candidate's views to those of a majority opposed 
to his own community, whom he would in no way represent, and 
you justly claim that your position should be estimated not merely 
on your numerical strength but in respect to the political impor- 
tance of your community and the service it has rendered to the 
Empire. I am entirely in accord with you.. . .1 am as firmly con- 
vinced as I believe you to be, that any electoral representation in 
India would be doomed to mischievous failure which aimed at 
granting a personal enfranchisement, regardless of the beliefs and 
traditions of the communities composing the population of this 
continent." ' 7 

On the same day Lady Minto further writes in her journal: 
'This evening I have received the following letter from an official: 
'*! must send your Excellency a line to say that a very very big 
thing has happened today. A work of statesmanship that will affect 
India and Indian history for many a long year. It is nothing less 
than the pulling back of 62 millions of people from joining the 
ranks of the seditious opposition/ 3 ' Very much the same view w r as 
taken at Whitehall. Mr Morley, after receiving an account of the 
proceedings wrote: 'Morley to Minto "October 26 All that you 
tell me of your Mohamedans is full of interest, and I only regret 
that I c.ould not have moved about unseen at your garden party. 
The whole thing has been as good as it could be, and it stamps your 
position and personal authority decisively. Among other good 
effects of your deliverance is this, that it has completely deranged 
the plan and tactics of the critical faction here, that is to say it has 

7. Minto, op. cii., pp. 45-7. 


prevented them from any longer representing the Indian Govern- 
ment as the ordinary case of bureaucracy versus the people, I hope 
that even my stoutest Radical frknds will now see that the problem 
is not quite so simple as this." ' 8 

Buchan, Lord Minto's biographer, says: The speech undoubt- 
edly prevented the ranks of sedition being swollen by Moslem 
recruits, an inestimable advantage on the day of trouble which is 
dawning/ 9 and he describes it as a Charter of Islamic Rights. 

Moulvi Tufail Ahmad writes that things had been so arranged 
that the deputation should receive a good press in England. The 
deputation was to wait on the Viceroy on the ist October, 1906 and 
in the London Times appeared on the same day a long article in 
A\hich the wisdom of Musalmans was extolled. It was said that 
the Musalmans were never enamoured of representative councils 
on the European model, that there was no nation in India as in 
England and that there were various religions and so on. Other 
papers also wrote similar articles. 'It appears from these articles 
how the English press looked upon Indians being one nation with 
a sense of shock and heart-burning and how pleased they were to 
see it broken into pieces and how proud they felt in setting the 
Indians against. one another on the basis of religion and of creating 
lasting hostility between them/ 10 It took time for the Scheme to 
be worked out and a lot of correspondence passed between the 
Viceroy and th Secretary of State and ultimately as a result sepa- 
rate electorates for Musalmans were established. 


The All-India .Muslim League was established in the wake 
of the Muslim deputation to the Viceroy. On November 9, 1906 
Nawa]? Salimullah issued a circular in which he suggested thcit an 
organization to be known as All-India Muslim Conference should 
be established and ultimately in the following December a Confe- 
rence was held at Dacca attended by representatives and leaders 
from all over India. Nawab Waqar-uJ-Mulk presided and the All* 
India Muslim League was established. Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk was 
appointed the Secretary and Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk the joint 
secretary but unfortunately the latter passed away soon after. One 
of the resolutions supported the partition of Bengal and oppdsed the 
boycott movement. The establishment of the League was welcom- 
ed by the Times of London. It is curious to note that the Hindu 
Mahasabha was also established in the same year. Mr Ramsay 

8. Minto, op. cit, pp. 47-8. 9. Buchan. "Lord Minto," p. 244, quoted by G. N, Singh, op. cit, 
10. M. Tyfail Ahmad, op. cit., p. 363. 


Macdonald in The Awakening of India wrote about the part played by 
officialdom as follows: 'The Mahomeclan leaders are inspired by 
certain Anglo-Indian officials, and these officials have pulled wires 
at Simla and in London and of malice aforethought sowed discord 
between Hindu and Mahomedan communities by showing the Mus- 
lims special favour/ 1 The result of separate electorates has been 
not only to create a gulf but also to widen it progressively. 

The Muslim League began to meet in annual sessions and 
pass resolutions in support of partition of Bengal and separate elec- 
torates to be introduced not only for the Legislative Councils but 
also in the local bodies and demand representation of Muslims not 
only in the Services but also in the Privy Council. His Highness the 
Agha Khan presided over the session of the League held in January 
1910 at Delhi and expressed satisfaction over the Reforms which 
had been introduced and sounded a warning that there should be 
no opposition to them lest the Government should withdraw them. 
An incident occurred which throws a flood of light on the Govern- 
ment policy. It wijl be recalled that in the time of Sir Anthony 
Macdonell, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk, who was the Secretary of the 
Aligarh College, was pulled up by the Lieutenant Governor for 
taking a prominent part in the Urdu-Nagri controversy and had 
to give up his presidentship of the organization known as Anjuman- 
i-Himayat Urdu on the ground that the Secretary of the College 
should not be associated with a political organization. The Lieute- 
nant Governor went so far as to order the title of Nawab which had 
been conferred upon him by the Nizam should not be used in Go- 
vernment correspondence. The Government, however, did not 
object to his engineering the Muslim deputation and to his becom- 
ing the Joint Secretary of the All-India Muslim League while he 
continued to be the Secretary of the College. Nawab Waqar-ul- 
Mulk, who presided over the Conference at Dacca where the League 
was established, and was appointed its General Secretary, became 
the Secretary of the College after the death of Nawab Moh'sin-ul- 
Mulk. He continued to participate in the Muslim League, the head 
office of which was established at Aligarh and remained there till 
1910. Some difference arose between Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk and 
the English Principal of the College. The Governor sided with the 
Principal. There was public agitation among the Musalmans in 
support of the stand taken by Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk. The Lieute- 
nant Governor was forced to withdraw his orders but he was not 
to be beaten. He had his revenge. The head office of the Muslim 
League was shifted by His Highness the Agha Khan who was its 
President from Aligarh to Lucknow in the hope that the League 
would get out of the influence of Aligarh. The unexpected result 
of this move, however, was that the policy of the League got out 

1. Quoted by Mehta & Patwardhan: "The Communal Triangle," p. 66. 


of the control of the Principals of the College. 

The announcement of the annulment of the partition of Bengal 
by the King at the Delhi Durbar in December 1911, came as a rude 
shock to many Musalmans and was so heart-breaking for Nawab 
Salimullah that after presiding over the session of the League 
which was held in Calcutta in March 1912 he announced his with- 
drawal from all public activities and died shortly afterwards. 

Other events were happening which had considerable influence 
on the Musalmans. Moulvi Shibli Naumani had the reputation of 
being among the most learned Musalmans of the time and has 
written the standard work in Urdu on the life of the Prophet as 
also a life of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. He was the founder of the 
Academy at Azamgarh which has been publishing works of great 
historical value under the guidance of Moulana Sulaiman Nadvi 
after his death. He had been a life-long co-worker of Sir Syed 
Ahmad but had, towards the latter part of his life, begun to doubt 
the wisdom of his policy and attitude towards the Congress. He 
had been drawing the attention of the Musalmans to the more fun- 
damental question of India's freedom and advising them not to be 
content with the role of being mere critics of the Congress. In the 
course of an article published in the Muslim Gazette of Lucknow 
dated 9th October, 1917, he said, after discussing the politics and 
the policy of the Muslim League: 'A tree is judged by the fruit it 
gives. If our politics had been serious politics they would have 
evoked a zest for struggle and a readiness to suffer and sacrifice 
for an ideal/ 2 

Other events were happening which influenced the Muslim 
mind considerably. 'The working of the reformed councils was 
beginning to demonstrate the community of interest between the 
different communities and the essential unity of all Indians. And 
above all the nationalist movements in distant countries, specially 
in Turkey and Persia, were infusing a more national spirit in the 
minds of the Muslim youth in the country. . . . The policy followed 
by Great Britain towards Turkey during the Tripoli and Balkan 
wars showed the British in their true colours and demonstrated to 
Indian Musalmans the hollowness and insincerity of British profes- 
sions of friendship. On the other hand Moslem hearts were touched 
by expressions of brotherly sympathy in the Indian nationalist 
press for them in their grief over the treatment meted out to 
Turkey by the European nations/ 3 In 1912 Dr M. A. Ans^ri orga- 
nized and led a medical mission to Turkey. Maulana Zafarali, 
editor of the Zamindar, went himself to present a purse to the Vizier 
at Constantinople which had been raised for the Turkish Red 

2. Tufail Ahmad: "Roshan Mustaqbal," p. 389; and Mchta & Patwardhan, op. cit, p. 30. 

3. Guiumukh Nihal Singh: "Landmarks in Constitutional and National Development," 
pp. 490-1. 


Crescent. Maulana Abul Kalani Azad started the Al-Hilal which by 
its inspiring style of writing no less than by its high ideals of na- 
tionalism, freedom and sacrifice made an appeal unsurpassed by 
any other paper in Urdu. Moulana Mohammad AH was conducting 
the Comrade in English and the Hamdard in Urdu which helped to 
swell the mighty current in favour of nationalism. The League 
could not remain unaffected and its constitution was amended at its 
session at Lucknow in March 1913 presided over by Sir Ibrahim Ra- 
himtullah. The object of the League was defined among other mat- 
ters to be the attainment under the aegis of the British Crown 
of a system of self-government suitable to India, through con- 
stitutional means by bringing about, amongst others, a steady 
reform of the existing system of administration, by promoting 
national unity, by fostering public spirit among the people of India, 
and by co-operating* with other communities for the said purpose, 
The object of the League was thus brought in line with that of the 
Indian National Congress and paved the way for communal unity 
and common action which followed soon. 

In August 1914, the first world war commenced. There was 
excitement amongst Indians and some people, amongst whom 
Musalmans were prominent, planned daring schemes for an Inde- 
pendent Republic of India. Sheikhul-Hind Maulana Mahmudul 
Hassan with his colleagues Maulana Hussain Abused Naclvi and 
Moulvi Aziz Gul was arrested and interned at Malta. Moulanas 
Mohammad Ali, Shaukat Ali, Azad and Hasrat Mohani were all 
interned for their sympathy with Turkey which had joined the war 
against the Allies and for their outspoken nationalism. In Decem- 
ber 1915, the League and the Congress both held their sessions at 
Bombay. Many Congress leaders including Pandit Madan Mohan 
Malaviya, Shrimati Sarojini Naidu and Mahatma Gandhi attended 
the League session. His Highness the Agha Khan resigned as per- 
manent President of the League. The League appointed a Com- 
mittee to prepare a scheme for India in consultation with theton- 
gress. At Lucknow the League and the Congress again held their 
annual sessions at the same place and time. In the year which had 
intervened between the Bombay and Lucknow sessions the Com- 
mittee had prepared the scheftie. The Congress was strengthened 
by the bridging of the breach between the moderates and progres- 
sives which had occurred nine years before at Surat and so it was 
attended, not only by the Moderate leaders like Sir Surendranath 
Bannerji and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya but also by Loka- 
manya Tilak. An agreement was arrived at between the Congress 
and the League which accepted separate electorates for Musalmans 
and allowed them representation much in excess of their proportion 
of population in the Provinces except in the Punjab and Bengal. It 
further provided that no Bill or any clause thereof nor any resolu- 


tion introduced by a non-official member affecting one or the other 
community in the Legislative Council concerned shall be proceeded 
with if three-fourths of the members of the community in the parti- 
cular Council, Imperial or Provincial, opposed the Bill, any clause 
thereof, or the Resolution. Apart from this Pact between the Con- 
gress and the League the plan elaborated a scheme of reforms and 
it was demanded that a definite step should be taken towards self- 
government by granting the reforms contained in the scheme and 
that in the reconstruction of the Empire India should be lifted from 
the position of a dependency to that of an equal partner within the 
Empire with the self-governing dominions. Mr M, A, Jinnah was 
the President of the session of the League and, on the Congress 
side, all the leaders including Lokamanya Tilak approved of the 
Pact. Other resolutions were on the same lines as those of the 
Congress and it seemed that a concordat between the Congress and 
the League was established. 

The Muslim League thus became an ardent supporter of the 
political programme which the Congress had adopted. The new 
spirit* was seen in the following session which elected Montana 
Mohammad AH, who was then in internment, as its President. 
Like the previous two sessions this session was also held at the 
same time and place as the Congress in December 1917, in Calcutta. 
Mahatma Gaijclhi and Shrimati Naiclit attended the League session 
and participated in the proceedings of the League by supporting a 
Resolution demanding the release of the Ali Brothers. 


By the time the next session of the League met in December 
1918, in Delhi wh'ere the Congress also held its session, much had 
happened in the country and in the world. Mr Montagu had visit- 
ed India and in conjunction with Lord Chelmsford the Viceroy, 
prepared his report about reforms in pursuance of the declaration 
of British policy made in August 1917. The War had ended in 
fax our of the Allies and against Germany and Turkey. The defeat 
of Turkey had brought into prominence certain problems which 
affected the Mttsalmans of India. While the War was going on, 
British spokesmen had given assurances that Turkey would be 
fairly treated after the War and nothing would be done which 
would adversely affect the Muslim Holy Places in Arabia and 
Mesopotamia. Although it was not yet quite clear what the terms 
to be imposed on Turkey would be, the Musalmans were agitated 
over the incidents which had occurred in Arabia under British insti- 
gation resulting in the Arabs asserting their independence of Tur- 
key. Other incidents like the suppression of riots with a strong 


hand at Cawnpore and the proscription of the speech of Dr M. A. 
Ansari as Chairman of the Reception Committee of the Delhi ses- 
sion of the League, had served only to exacerbate Muslim feelings. 
The Ulema re-appeared on the political stage of Indian Musalmans 
and began to take a leading part in their political movement. The 
League demanded the application of self-determination to India. 

The peace proposals falsified the promises held out to Indian 
Musalmans about the Khalifa, his territories, and his power. The 
Holy Places of Islam appeared to come under the control of non- 
Muslims as a result of weakening of the Khilafat. The Khilafat 
movement in India was a movement of protest against the Allies, 
particularly the British, and in support of the Khalifa. The Hindus 
under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi lent their whole-hearted 
support to the Khilafat movement. The anti-Turkish policy of the 
British Government alarmed even Mr Montagu, the Secretary of 
State for India; and Lord Reading the Viceroy in a telegram urged 
the evacuation of Constantinople, the suzerainty of the Sultan over 
the Holy Places and the restoration of Ottoman Thrace and 
Smyrna. The publication of this telegram at a time when negotia- 
tions were going on resulted in the resignation of Mr Montagu. 
The feeling in India became more and more embittered and with a 
view to concentrating attention on the subject the Central Khilafat 
Committee was formed, with branches all over the Country. The 
Ulema under the leadership of Matilana Mahmudul Hassan 
Sheikhul-Hincl established Jamait-ul-Ulema-i-Hind. Deputations 
\vere sent to England to impress upon the authorities the strength 
of Indian Muslim sentiment in favour of the Khilafat and to plead 
that nothing should be clone to bring about its dismemberment or 
to weaken its position as a power for the protection of the Holy 
Places of Islam. The failure of the deputation and the progress of 
the peace negotiations, making it abundantly clear that the Allies 
were not to be deterred by the Muslim sentiment from their dpter- 
mination to impose a harsh treaty on Turkey even against pledges 
given, made a countrywide upheaval inevitable. The Khilafat Con- 
ference and the Jamait-ul-IJlema-i-Hind hereafter became the most 
active and influential organizations of the Musalmans and conti- 
nued leading them for some /ears. The League used to have its 
session side by side with the session of the Congress and these 
organizations used to be presided over by the most progressive 
nationalists amongst the Muslims like Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr M. 
A. Ansari, Maulana Hasrat Mohani and the Ali Brothers. 

The Khilafat agitation coincided in time with the agitation 
against the Government for enacting what were known as the 
Rowlatt Bills. It is not necessary to go into the details of these 
measures which roused such fierce opposition throughout the 
country amongst all communities. In a word, they were the* result 


of recommendations of the Sedition Committee presided over by 
Sir Sydney Rowlatt and intended to perpetuate in a modified form 
some of the obnoxious provisions of the Defence of India Act which 
was to cease to operate after the War. The agitation against these 
Bills roused the country as a whole as nothing else had done and 
there were riots in the Punjab and Bombay Presidency and Delhi 
and some other places. The hand of repression fell heavily and 
w r hat has come to be known as the Jallianvvalla Bagh tragedy was 
enacted at Amritsar followed by a regime of Martial Law in the 
Punjab. The misdeeds committed during the Martial Law regime 
came to the knowledge of the public only some time after they had 
been perpetrated and particularly in course of the enquiry which 
the Government had ordered, by a Committee presided over by 
Lord Hunter. The Congress also held a separate enquiry. When 
the reports of these two Committees were published there was 
great indignation throughout the country. This, coupled with the 
Muslim resentment over the Khilafat question, brought about joint 
action between the Congress on the one hand and the Muslim 
organizations on the other. A common line of action was decided 
upon and non-vjolcnt non-co-operation became the joint pro- 
gramme. The Jamait-ul-Ulema issued the Fatwa which was signed 
by 925 eminent Muslim divines and sanctioned the programme of 
non-violent non-o-operation. Many of the Ulenia were lodged in 
jails. The feeling was so strong that a large number of Musalmans 
took to Hijrat and suffered indescribable miseries. 

The Congress at a special session held in Calcutta in September 
1920 adopted the resolution in favour of non-violent non-co-opera- 
tion which was confirmed at the annual session at Nagpur in the 
following December. The year 1921 was a year of intense activity 
and unprecedented ccyoperation between all communities and joint 
political action for securing Swaraj and redress for the Punjab and 
Khilafat, wrongs. Thousands of men and women belonging to all 
communities were imprisoned even before a scheme of civil disobe- 
dience and non-payment of taxes was adopted. Moulanas Moham- 
mad Ali and Shaukat AH, Htissain Ahmad, Abul Kalam Azad, 
Deshbandhu Das, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai and other 
prominent leaders and a very large number of Congress and Khi- 
lafat members and workers were imprisoned towards the closing- 
months of the year. But the annual sessions of all these organiza- 
tions were held amidst scenes of unprecedented enthusiasm at 
Ahmedabad. A programme of non-payment of taxes and civil dis- 
obedience was adopted. But before it could be launched there were 
serious riots at Chauri Chaura and the programme was called off. 
The arrest and sentence of Mahatma Gandhi for ^ix years followed. 
The movement then came to a standstill. Attempts were made to 
re-organize it but proved ineffectual. 


The session of the Muslim League held at Ahmedabad in 
December 1921 was the last session which was held at the same 
place and time as the Congress. Although Maulana Hasrat Mohani 
was its President, the League as a body showed that it was unable 
to keep pace either with the Congress or the Khilafat Committee 
or the Jamait-ul-Ulema. It did not adopt any resolutioa in favour 
of civil disobedience as was done by the other bodies. For seven 
years it had gone on parallel lines with the Congress, and changed 
its constitution; but when civil disobedience was adopted it ceased 
to have annual sessions with the Congress, the Khilafat Committee 
and the Jamait-ul-Ulema. 

Moulvi Syed Tufail Ahmad writes: 'Now the question is, 
why did the Muslim League fall behind its contemporary organi- 
sation? The answer to the question is contained in the writings of 
Maulana Shibli the substance of which is as follows: "The first 
foundation stone of the League was the Simla deputation and 
whatever constitution may be given to it in the future the spirit 
of the Simla deputation will continue in it. The first brick of thfc 
foundation of the League was wrongly laid, and whatever Structure 
is raised on such a foundation is bound to fall out of the line. The 
politics of the League is only this whatever rights and places are 
won by the Hindus, the share of the Musalmans in them must be 
fixed. This is not real politics. Real politics is cancerned with the 
demand of the people as against the Government and in this respect 
politics is as powerful as religion. On account of the lack of this 
strength a member of the Muslim League cannot be prepared to 
suffer any injury and docs not find in himself any high determina- 
tion or courage/' n 

The flame of enthusiasm could not remain at white heat for 
an indefinitely long period and after the withdrawal of civil disobe- 
dience and Mahatma Gandhi's imprisonment there was weakening 
and frustration. The Muslim League suffered more than any other 
organization and its session at Lucknow in 1923 had to be abandon- 
ed for want of a quorum. The subsequent sessions of 1924, 1925 
and 1926 showed that the difference between the League and the 
Congress was growing wider. 

When the relations between the Hindus and Musalmans were 
of the best in 1921, when at the time of (he Bakrid of that year 
Musalmans of their own accord gave up the sacrifice of cows in 
many places, and when the participation of Hindus in the Khilafat 
agitation appeared to have firmly established Hindu-Muslim unity, 
certain incidents happened which created a rift in the lute. The 
Khilafat agitation was very strong in the Malabar district where 
there is a large population of Muslims who are known gis Moplahs. 

1. M. Tufail Ahmad: "Roshan Mustaqbal," p. 410. 


The Hindus of the place joined the Khilafat agitation as Hindus 
had done everywhere. The lesson of non-violence had not been 
imbibed even to the extent it had been in other places. The agita- 
tion took a violent turn. Moulana Mohammad AH was proceeding 
to Malabar. If he had been permitted to reach the district, he would 
undoubtedly have controlled the situation. But the Government 
had him arrested on the way and also prevented other leaders from 
going there. The masses went out of control and as always happens 
in such cases Government repression was severe and unsparing. 
Although some of the Hindu leaders were given as stiff sentences 
as any Moplah there were reports that the Moplahs perpetrated 
atrocities.against the Hindus whom they suspected of Having gone 
over to the Government side or at least not being on their side. 
Forciblejronversions to Islam were alleged. All this created bitter- 
ness "amongst the Hindus, even in Northern India, who were in- 
fluenced by reports of incidents which were undoubtedly exaggerat- 
ed. But the situation remained under control so long as the leaders 
and particularly Mahatma Gandhi were out of prison. Swami 
Shraddbanaiid, who was one of the leaders of the non-co-operation 
movement and who had won the confidence and esteem of the 
Musalmans by his bold and courageous action to such an extent 
that they invited him to deliver an address at the Juma Masjid of 
Delhi, was deeply stirred. After his release he started the Shuclclhi 

The Shuddhi movement of Swami Shraddhanand has come in 
for a great deal of criticism both from the nationalists and Musal- 
mans. Whatever one may have to say about its opportuneness at 
that particular moment, it is difficult to understand how Christians 
and Musalmans can object to it on merits. They are constantly 
engaged in their proselytizing mission and in converting Hindus 
to their own faiths. If the Hindus on their side also start converting 
non-Hindus to their faith, it is no business of non-Hindus to object 
especially if they are themselves engaged in the work of conver- 
sion. The Hindus must have the same right of propagating their 
faith as others have. But men are ndt always guided by logic or 
by a sense of justice and fairness. And there was much bitterness 
among Musalmans against the Shuddhi, movement and against 
SwanjL Shraddhanand" personally as a result of which he felfa 
victim to a Muslim ^ assassin^ some tune 'later. ""Musalmans on their 
side started the TabliglTand Tanzim movements. 

Towards the latter part of I92ther j .occurred serious riots in 
Multan in which Hindu places or worship were desecrated, manv 
Hindus were killed and many Hindu houses were looted and burnt. 
This was the first of a laiS^BinilL^ o^orriinunal riots which con- 
tinued for seve^al^a^^ p^rts of 
the country. Congress and Khilafat workers and all nationalists 


whether Hindu or Muslim, felt much disturbed and did their best 
to stem the tide but found themselves helpless. There can be no 
doubt that there were forces working behind the scenes, Some 
protagonists of Pakistan have attributed all these riots to the ex- 
cesses of the Hindus. Some have gone so far as to suggest that they 
were actually organized by Hindu leaders, if for nothing else, at 
least as an exercise and training for the Hindus to stand up against 
the Musalmans before whom they had always behaved as mere 
sheep. This explanation over-simplifies the problem and is ob- 
viously made to serve as a link in the argument in favour of Paki- 
stan. It has no foundation in fact. If the history of the communal 
riots, say during the last thirty years or so, is studied without pre- 
judice, it will be found that these riots show a knack of appearing 
at critical moments in the political history of the country. We iind 
them occurring whenever the demand for transfer of power from 
British to Indian hands has become insistent and strong, and 
whenever the two major communities of India have shown unity oi 
purpose and action. We have seen that there was a concordat 
between the Congress and the League in December 1916, followed 
by an intensive agitation for Home Rule in 1917. Towards the 
latter part of 1917 there occurred serious riots in the district of 
Shahabad in Bihar in which Musalmans suffered heavily at the 
hands of the Hindus and the Hindus in their tivrn suffered even 
more heavily at the hands of the Government. In the following 
year 1918 there were equally serious riots at Katarpur in the United 
Provinces with similar results. The Khilafat and the Punjab wrongs 
had brought about an almost complete unity between the two com- 
munities between 1919 and 1922. Hindu-Muslim riots re-appeared 
in 1922 and continued for some years. 

When Mahatma Gandhi was released hi, 1924 before serving 
out his sentence of six years fully on account of his very serious 
illness, he was deeply touched by the orgy of riots which were 
having their toll of death and destruction all round and he under- 
took, as is his wont, a fast of 21 days. The object was to appeal 
to the hearts of the Hindus and Musalmans to arrest the progres- 
sive deterioration in the communal situation by putting a stop to 
this fratricidal conflict. A onfcr_erice of representatives of all com- 
munities and leading men from all over the country was hurriedly 
convened by Moulana Mohammad AH who was the. . Presidgtji jof 
iTie "Congress at .the tjms. If waSTsiicVessful in so far asTt was able 
to pass a set of just and fair resolutions defining the rights and 
obligations of religious communities and suggesting a course of 
conduct in situations which led to conflicts. It was hoped that this 
would ease the situation and if its decisions had been given the 
publicity they deserved and acted upon with sincerity, there is no 
doubt the situation would have been brought under control. It is 


no use blaming any Denticular community for being entirely and 
alone in the wrong. {TJie fact is that communal riots in many cases 
have a_j>olkicarba^ although apparently they are caused 

by religfouFlanatias^ When once a riot has occurred it leaves a 
legacy of bitterness and suspicion behind and itself becomes the 
cause of further trouble. The atmosphere gets so vitiated that it 
becomes difficult even for otherwise steady and level-headed men to 
keep. their equilibrium and to probe into the causes and the inci- 
dents and to adopt measures of conciliation. So devastating is the 
aftermath of these riots that even an attempt to bring about recon- 
ciliation is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. It is obvious 
to any one who applies his mind to the question that it serves no 
useful purpose to prolong a bitter controversy about a riot or to 
keep the memory of its incidents green. The effect of protracted 
investigation by the police and courts, which sometimes lasts for 
years, is to keep up and maintain the tension, because not only the 
plrti'es but also the witnesses are divided on communal lines and 
people are not wanting who come forward as champions of their 
respective communities. Yet attempt at conciliation by private 
efforts And involving withdrawal of prosecutions has been con- 
demned as tactics for saving the miscreants. The fact very often 
is that many of the miscreants, particularly those who are respon- 
sible for creating the tense atmosphere and preparing the ground 
by rousing passions which result in these riots, are clever enough 
to escape unharmed in the riots, and unmolested by the police and 
the courts. It is only the simple, unsophisticated masses who get 
involved in these prosecutions and who having acted in the heat of 
the moment are soon able to steady themselves and to repent of 
what has happened. There is nothing wrong morally or otherwise 
in trying to save such men, specially when it serves also the purpose 
of removing the tension and re-establishing fellow feeling and 
goodwill all round. And yet it has been seriously suggested that 
this is one of the tactics employed by Hindus to save themselves. 
It need hardly be pointed out that those who suggest and take such 
conciliatory steps do not ple^cl for the members of any one parti- 
cular community but urge the cause of both and in cases arising 
out of such communal riots very often. there are counter cases in 
which members of both communities are accused and a settlement 
accrues to the benefit of them all. It has been found as is apparent 
from reports of enquiry into the causes of some of these riots, that 
a firm handling of the situation by the Government would not only 
prevent these riots but also check their progress if they have 
actually begun. There were serious riots in Bombay resulting in 
the death of 89 Hindus and 54 Mohammedans, "i European and i 
Parsi and injury to 643 persons. An enquiry was held and the Riots 
Enquiry Committee wrote: 'We are of opinion that there is a 


considerable force in the contention that the Commissioner of 
Police should have proposed the calling out of the Military some- 
what earlier than he did. At any fate the expeiTence of tlie recent 
riot shows that it is desirable to call out a strong force of the Mili- 
tary and to take other drastic measures at an early stage. . . .' 

There were serious riots in Qawnpore in 193^ The report of 
the Commission of Enquiry into the causes of Cawnpore riots says: 
4 There is a general feeling/' said a witness before me, "thajt the 
local authorities did not choose to take immediate and stringent mea- 
sures because they were displeased with businessmen for helping 
the Congress activities, and they wanted to show that without the 
help of the authorities they cannot protect their life and properties/' 
This attitude of the Police during the riots was reprehensible and 
inexcusable. Every class of witness agreed in this one respect 
that Police showed indifference and inactivity in dealing with 
various incidents in the riot. These witnesses include European 
businessmen, Moslems and Hindus of all shades of opinion, military 
officers, the Secretary of the Upper India Chamber of Commerce, 
representatives of the Indian Christian Community and even In- 
dian officials. It is impossible to ignore such unanimity of eVidence, 
. . . There is no doubt in our mind that during th^ first three days 
of the riot the Police did not show that activity in the discharge of 
their duties which was expected of them. . . A number of witnesses 
have cited instances of serious crimes being committed within view 
of the Police without their active interest being aroused. . . We 
are told by a number of witnesses and the District Magistrate has 
said so in his evidence, that complaints about the indifference and 
inactivity of the Police were made at the time. It is to be regretted 
that no serious notice was taken of these complaints/ 2 


Just before the Congress session of Gauhati^ in December, 
1926, Swami Shraddhanand was murc)ered in cold bloocTon his sick 
bed in his house in Delhi by a Muslim fanatic, who had sought an 
interview with him. This naturally sent a thrill' of horror all 
through the country and it was felt that further efforts should be 
made for settling the political as well as the social and religious 
differences between the Hindus and Musalmans. It may be noted 
here that on the introduction of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms 
of 1920 the Indian National Congress and the Khilafat Committee 
boycotted the Legislative Councils and took no part in the elections 
of 1920. After the virtual withdrawal of the civil disobedience 
movement in 1922 differences arose amongst the leaders of both the 

2. K. B. Krishnan: "The Problem of Minorities," pp. 272-3. 


organizations and as a result the boycott was lifted and Congress- 
men and Khilafat workers participated in the elections which were 
held towards the end of 1923 and in subsequent elections. The 
Congress was functioning in the matter of its work in the Legisla- 
tures through the agency of the Swaraj Party which had been 
established. The Swaraj Party was not in favour of working the 
reforms but of non-co-operating with the Government through the 
Legislatures. Congress members, therefore, put forward resolu- 
tions in the Central Legislature demanding a revision of the Consti- 
tution and also rejected the Finance Rill, forcing the hands of the 
Governor-General to get supplies, not with the sanction of the 
Legislature but by the use of extraordinary powers. Many of the 
Muslim members of the Legislature who did not belong to the 
Congress joined the Congressmen in this action. It is thus clear 
that while there was this tension in the country there was a certain 
amount of co-operation between the Hindu and Muslim members 
of the Central Legislature. 

The British Government had resolutely resisted all proposals 
for any advance in constitutional matters. Hut ft was felt that the 
Government could not continue its resistance long and no advance 
was possible without some sort of communal settlement. The 
Gauhati Congress, therefore, authorized its Working Committee 
to take immediate steps in consultation with Hindu and Mu sal man 
leaders to devise f measures for removal of the present deplorable 
differences between the Hindus and Musalmans. Some informal 
conferences with Hindu and Muslim leaders and members of the 
Central Legislature were held by the Congress President, Shri 
Shrinivas lyengar. Towards the end of Marcli 1927 some promi- 
nent Muslim leaders met together in Delhi and put forward what 
came to be known as the Muslim proposals. They expressed their 
preparedness to agree to joint electorates for Provincial and the 
Central Legislatures, provided (a) Sincl was made into a separate 
Province; (b) the North- West Frontier Province and Baluchistan 
were treated on the same footing as the other Provinces; (c) in 
the Punjab and Bengal the proportion of Muslim representation 
was^in accordance with their population; (d) and in the Central 
Legislature it was not less than one-third of the total. At two meet- 
ings held in the following May and October the All-India Congress 
Committee passed resolutions substantially accepting the Muslim 
proposals and also laying down certain rules dealing with the reli- 
gious and social aspects of the question. The next annual session 
of the Congresswji^ held in Madras and it passed a resolution on 
the lines Tafd^down earlier in the year by the All-India Congress 
Committee. By another resolution it authorized the Working Com- 
mittee to confer with similar Committees to be appointed by othei 
organizations in the country and to draft a Swaraj C 


India on the basis of a Declaration of Rights and to place the same 
for consideration and approval before a special Convention of the 
All-India Congress Committee, the leaders and representatives 6f 
the other organizations, and the elected members of Provincial 
and the Central Legislatures. The Muslim League met in Calcutta 
in the same week and passed a Resolution authorizing its Council 
to appoint a Sub-Committee to confer with the Working Commit- 
tee of the Congress and other organizations for drafting a Consti- 
tution for India and to take part in the National Convention as 
suggested by the Congress. It reiterated the points of the Muslim 
proposals mentioned above, emphasizing that separate electorates 
could be abandoned by the Musalmans only in case the other de- 
mands mentioned were fulfilled. The Resolution further incorpo- 
rated the Madras Congress settlement regarding liberty of con- 
science, religious legislation, the cow and music questions, and 
conversion. It may be noted here thaf a" split had occurred in the 
All-India Muslim League, one section holding the session in Cal- 
cutta and the other at Lahore under the presidentship of Sir Mian 
Muhammad Shafi.' It was the Calcutta session which passed the 
above resolution under the presidentship of Moulvi Mohammad 
Yaqub. Mr M. A. Jinnah was its leading light apd guiding spirit. 

It is worth while recording here some facts which had brought 
about this rapprochement between the Congress and a section of the 
League on the one hand and the split in the League itself on the 
other. It has been stated above that the Government had opposed 
all proposals for constitutional advance. LordJBirkenhead was the 
Secretary of State at the time. On December icT," 1925, "he wrote to 
the Viceroy Lord Reading about advancing the date of the appoint- 
ment of the Statutory Commission provided for in the Government 
of India Act 1920, for reporting on the working of the Reforms at 
the end of ten years at the latest from the tinje of commencement. 
He wrote as follows: 

'I should, therefore, like to receive your advice, if at guy time 
you discern an opportunity for making this [the Statutory Com- 
mission] a useful bargaining counter or for further disintegrating 
the Swarajist Party ... If such an acceleration affords you any 
bargaining value, use it to the full, and with the knowledge that 
you will be supported by the Government/ 1 

His hands were, however, forced by the situation in England 
in 1927. 'Forecast of the coming general election at home was 
ominous. A Labour Government was in sight. He could not afford 
to "run the slightest risk that the nomination of 1928 Commission 
should be in the hands of our successors. . . Colonel Wedgewood 
and his friends". . . That would upset his plan for "further disintc- 

1 "Birkenhead^The Last Phase," Vol. II, p. 25 quoted by K. B. Krishnan in his 
'Problem of Minorities," p, 307. 


gratiftg the Swarajist Party." ' 2 He announced the appointment of 
the Statutory Commission in November 1927. The * Commission 
was to consist of seven members including Sirjohn Simon as 
Chairman. There was to be no Indian member~on it. The Central 
Legislature was to be invited to appoint a Joint Select Committee 
which would place its views before the Commission for examina- 
tion. The exclusion of Indians from the Commission altogether 
was treated by Indians as an insult and a humiliation, and a boycott 
of the Commission was decided upon not only by the Congress but 
also by a large group of Muslims outside the Congress and the 
Khilafat Committee and even by the Liberals who were believed to 
hold very moderate views on matters political and who alone of 
all political groups in the country had tried to work the Montagu- 
Chelmsford Reforms when the Congress had boycotted them. 
The split in the All-India Muslim League had occurred on the ques- 
tion of co-operation with the Simon Commission and the question 
of separate electorates. Lord Birkenhead was fully conscious of 
the value of antagonism between the different groups in India and 
'as Secretary of State for India he communicated his advice to 
the Viceroy, Lord Reading: "The more it is made obvious that 
these antagonisms are profound, and affect immense and irrecon- 
cilable sections of the population, the more conspicuously is the 
fact illustrated ^hat we, and we alone, can play the pSrt of com- 
poser/* 'f When the Commission was boycotted in India he wrote 
again to the Viceroy Lord Irwin: 'We have always relied on the 
non-boycotting Moslems, on the depressed community, on the bust- 
ness interests, and on many others, to break down the attitude of 
boycott. You and Simon must be the judges whether or not it is 
expedient in these directions to try to make a breach in the wall of 
antagonism, even in the course of the present visit/ 4 

He wrote again" to the Viceroy, a few days later in February 
1928: 'I should advise Simon to see"at all stages important people 
who are not boycotting the Commission, garti^^lx^p.slems and 
the depressed classes. I should widely advertise all his interviews 
with representative Moslems. The whole policy is now obvious. 
It is to terrify the immense Hindu population by the apprehension 
that the Commission having been got hold of by the Moslems, may 
present a report altogether destructive ojLthe Hindu position, there- 
by securing a solid Moslem support and leaving Jinnah high and 

^- - ' ' " ~ 

No wonder Sir Mohammad Shafi organized a separate meeting 
of the League in Lahore while Mr Jinnah was left 'high and dry 9 

Z. Birkenhead, op. cit,, Vol. II, pp. 250-1, quoted by Atulanand Chakravarti in his "Call 
It Politics?" p. 58. 

3. ibid., pp. 245-6, quoted Do. p. 57. 

4. ibid., p.254, quoted Do. 

5. ibid., p. 255, quoted by Krishnan, op. cit, p, 308. 


to guide the lawful League which met in Calcutta in December 
1927 at the same time as the Shaft League in Lahore. 

The joint action of the Congress, the All-India Muslim League 
and the other organizations in the beginning of 1928 in drafting 
a constitution for India was thus the result of the humiliation heap- 
ed on Indians by the appointment of the Simon Commission and a 
challenge thrown out by Lord Birkenhcad to India to produce a 
constitution acceptable to all. The All Parties Conference which 
met in pursuance of the above resolutions proceeded" witfi (lie work 
of constitution-framing and after doing a substantial part of it left it 
to a Committee of which Pandit Motilal Nehru was the Chairman. 
The Committee prepared a report r which "came to' be Known as the 
Nehru Committee Report. It was discussed and adopted with modi- 
fications at a meeting" of the All Parties Conference at Lucknow and 
was ultimately placed before an All Parties Convention held in 
Calcutta in the last week of December 1928, Other forces had been 
working in the meantime and differences had arisen with the repre- 
sentatives of the All-India Muslim League. These differences boil- 
ed clown to only three points, namely: (i) That the Muslijii repre- 
sentation in the Central Legislature should not be less than one- 
third; (2) That in the event of adult suffrage not 1 being granted as 
proposed in the Nehru Report, the Punjab and Bengal should have 
seats on a "population basis and no more, subject to re-examination 
after ten years; (3) That residuary powers should vest in the Pro- 
vinces and not in the Centre. .These were placed in the form of a 
resolution by Mr Jinndh before the Convention. They were dis- 
cussed at great length in a Committee meetirfg appointed for the 
purpose sitting till the small hours of the morning but no -agree- 
ment was reached and they were rejected by the Convention. The 
League thereafter practically withdrew from the Convention, and 
its session which was being held in Calcutta 'about the same time 
was adjourned to meet later to consider the position. 

The other wing of the League which had held its session at 
Lahore in the previous year was not sitting idle. It had at that 
session rejected the Congress Resolution passed at its Madras 
session and appointed a Committee to devise a constitutional 
scheme and to collaborate with other organizations in framing a 
constitution on the principle adopted at the Lahore session for pre- 
senting the same before the Statutory Commission. It also passed 
a resolution authorizing the President to convene a Round Table 
Conference of Muslims with a view to uniting the different elements 
amongst them. A Muslim All Parties Conference was accordingly 
convened to meet in Delhi on the 3ist December 1928; H. H. the 
Agha Khan^who had led the Muslim deputation in 1906 to Lord 
Minto, was invited to preside and he responded to the invitation 
The proceedings of the All Parties Convention in Chlcutta had 


embittered some Musalmans and some of them among whom the 
most prominent were Moulana Mohammad AH and Moulvi Shafi 
Datidi attended the Conference. The All-India Muslim League in 
Calcutta had refused to accept the invitation to the Muslim All 
Parties Conference. The Conference passed a resolution to the 
following effect : (a) The only form of government suitable to 
Indian conditions is a Federal system with complete autonomy and 
residuary powers vested in the constituent states, the Central Go- 
vernment havirig control only over such matters of common interest 
as may be spe/ially entrusted to it by the constitution; (b) No bill, 
resolution, motion, or amendment regarding inter-communal 
matters should be moved, discussed, or passed by any legislature, 
Central or Provincial, if three-fourths majority of the members of 
the community affected thereby opposed it; (c) The Musalmans 
should have their representatives in the Legislature and other statu- 
tory self-governing bodies through their own separate electorates, 
of which they should not be deprived without their own consent; 
they should have their clue share in the Central and Provincial 
Cabinets; their majorities in the Legislative Councils in Provinces 
where they were in a majority in the population should not be 
affected and irt Provinces where they were in a minority, they 
should in no case have a representation less than that enjoyed by 
them under the existing law; their representation in the Central 
Legislature should be thirty-three and one-third per cent; (d) 
Sind should be created into a separate Province; and (e) The 
North- West Frontier Province and Baluchistan should have the 
same constitutional reforms as other Provinces; they should have 
adequate representation in the services; there should be adequate 
safeguards for the protection of Muslim culture and for the promo- 
tion of Muslim education, language, religion, personal law, chari- 
table institutions, and for a due share in grants-in-aid. 

The resolution emphatically declared that no constitution by 
whomsoever proposed or devised would be acceptable to Indian 
Musalmans unless it conformed with the principles of this Reso- 

An attempt \vas made by Mr Jinnah to bring about a recon- 
ciliation between the two groups in the Muslim League and the 
Muslim All Parties Conference. Mr Jinnah after consulting lead- 
ing men prepared a draft resolution on the basis of which a settle- 
ment could be made. It was in this draft resolution that he formu- 
lated his Fourteen Points as necessary for safeguarding the rights 
and interests of Musalmans. These Fourteen Points may be 
summarized : 

1. The form of the future constitution * should be Federal, 
with the residuary powers vested in the Provinces. 

2. A uniform measure of autonomy for Provinces. 


3. All Legislatures and other elected bodies should be consti- 
tuted on the definite principle of adequate and effective represen- 
tation of minorities in every Province without reducing the majo- 
rity in any Province to a minority or even equality. 

4. In the Central Legislature Muslim representation shall 
not be less than one-third. 

5. Representation of communal groups to be by separate 
electorates provided that it shall be open to any community at any 
time to abandon its separate electorate in favour of joint electorate. 

6. Any territorial redistribution not in any way to affect 
the Muslim majority in the Punjab, Bengal and the N.-W.F. 

7. Full liberty of belief, worship, and observance, propa- 
ganda, association and education shall be guaranteed to all 

8. No Bill or Resolution or any part thereof shall be passed 
in any Legislature or any other elected body if three-fourths of the 
members of any community in that body opposed it as being inju- 
rious to the interests of that community. 

9. Sind to be separated from the Bombay Presidency. 

10. Reforms to be introduced in the Frontier Province and 
Baluchistan as in other Provinces. 

11. Adequate share for Musalmans to be provided in the 
constitution in all services, subject to requirements'of efficiency. 

12. Adequate safeguards for the protection and promotion of 
Muslim culture, education, language, religion, personal laws, and 
charitable institutions and for their due share in the grants-in-aid. 

13. No Cabinet either Central or Provincial to be formed 
without at least one-third of the ministers being Muslims. 

14. No change of the constitution by the Central Legislature 
except with the concurrence of the States constituting the [ndiau 

It may be noted that in the League of which Mr Jinnah was 
the President, nationalist Muslims had a predominant voice. The 
Shafi League was sticking to its Lahore Resolution and had practi- 
cally become a part of the Muslim All Parties Conference. Mr Jin- 
nah's draft resolution formulating the fourteen points became the 
demand of the Muslims outside the nationalist group. These four- 
teen points have an importance of their own as they were adopted 
practically in their entirety by Mr Macdonald's Communal decision 
or award. The difference between the nationalist Muslims and the 
Muslim All Parties Conference was on the question of the accep- 
tance of the Nehru Report, the former holding that the Report 
should be accepted. 

The Calcutta Congress in December 1928 had resolved that in 
case the British Government did not accept the Nehru Report, 


which provided that India should have the status of a Dominion 
within a year by the 31 st December 1929, the Congress would give 
up the Report and insist on Independence. The year 1929 saw a 
great awakening in the country. On the 31 st of October 1929 the 
Viceroy, Lord Irwin, who had in the meantime visited England for 
consultation, made an announcement that when the Simon Com- 
mission had submitted their Report, the British GoMernmenfe would 
invite representatives of different parties and interests in British 
India and Indian States to meet in a Round Table Conference for 
discussion of the Indian problem. The announcement further 
declared : 'I am authorized to state clearly that in their judgement 
it is implicit in the declaration of 1917 that the natural issue of the 
Indian constitutional progress as there contemplated is the attain- 
ment of Dominion Status/ As this part of the declaration left in 
doubt whether the Conference was to meet to frame a scheme ol 
Dominion Constitution for India, clarification of the point was 
sought by a Leaders' Conference which met at Delhi to consider 
the announcement. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Pie- 
sident Patel, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru and Mr'Jinnah met the Vice- 
roy on 231x1 December on the eve of the Lahore session of the 
Indian National Congress, in this connexion. The Viceroy was not 
prepared to give the assurance that the purpose of the Con- 
ference was to draft a scheme for Dominion Status. The 
Congress in pursuance of the Resolution passed at its session 
in Calcutta declared that the word Swaraj in Article i of 
the Congress Constitution shall mean Complete Independence 
and that the entire scheme of the Nehru Committee's Report 
had lapsed. It authorized the All-India Congress Committee 
to launch a programme of civil disobedience including non- 
payment of taxes. The civil disobedience movement was started 
in the following March and continued for one year. The Simon 
Commission Report was submitted about the middle of 1930 and 
the First Round Table Conference was convened in the following 
autumn and met in London. The Congress was not represented. 
The Round Table Conference comprised representatives from 
British India among whom were Musalmans, and from the Indian 
JJtatps. It decided in favour of a Federal Constitution for India 
comprising Provinces of British Inclia as well as such States or 
groups of such States as elected to join it. It decided in favour of 
the creation of Sincl as a separate Province and introduction of 
Reforms in the North-West Frontier Province. Opinion on the 
question of joint or separate electorates was expressed and appear- 
ed to be in favour of maintaining separate electorates and not abo- 
lishing them without the consent of the parties enjoying them. The 
powers to be exercised by the Federal Government and the Units 
were considered in detail and allocated to them in separate lists but 



the question of the residuary powers was not fully decided nor was 
any decision takeii on the quantum of Muslim representation in the 
Federal Legislature. 

After the First Round Table Conference a truce was made 
between Lord Irwin for the Government of India, and Mahatma 
Gandhi on behtlf of the Congress, which opened the way for the 
Congress to join the Second Round-Table Conference which was 
t to meet in the autumn of 1931. Just about this time serious Hindu- 
' Muslim jiots occurred in Benares, Cawnpore and otKeFptaces. The 
cluef difference between the Nationalist Muslims who had become 
organized as Muslim Nationalist Conference and the Muslim 
All Parties Conference which had practically absorbed, so far as 
the programme was concerned, the All-lndia'Muslim League and 
the Khilafat Conference was on the question of the electorates, 
the former favouring joint electorates, and the latter insisting on 
separate electorates. The Muslim Nationalist Conference held 
its session under the Presidentship of Sir AH Imam at Lucknow in 
April 1931 at which Ke declared that although he himself belonged 
at one time to the school of political thought which laid great Stress 
on separate electorate and was in fact a member of the Deputation 
that waited on Lord Minto, he had after careful study come defi- 
nitely to the conclusion that separate electorate was not only a 
negation of Indian nationalism but also positively harmful to 
Muslims themselves. The Conference passed a resolution that in 
the constitution there should be a declaration of Fundamental 
Rights guaranteeing protection of culture, language and personal 
laws, etc., that it should be a Federal Constitution vesting residuary 
powers in the federating units, that appointment to the Services 
should be made by a Public Services Commission according to a 
minimum standard of efficiency without depriving any community 
of a fair share in the services and that Sincl should be constituted 
into a separate Province and the North-West Frontier and Baluchi- 
stan should have the same form of Government as the other Pro- 
vinces. As regards the measure and method of representation in 
the Federal and the Provincial Legislatures the resolution laid 
down that there should be universal adult franchise, joint electo- 
rates and reservation of seats on a population basis for minorities 
of less than 30 per cent with a right to contest additional seats. An 
attempt was made to bring about a settlement between the Muslim 
All Parties Conference and the Muslim Nationalist Conference but 
it ultimately failed. A joint conference was to be held at Simla for 
considering the various proposals for compromise on the 22nd June 
1931. With regard to it Dr M. A. Ansari made a public statement 
that 'on arrival here we found that the Simla atmosphere was verv 
inauspicious for any compromise. Our apprehensions have, alas, 


turned out to be only too true. The unfortunate Simla surround- 
ings and influences, by now too well known to the public to require 
specific mention, proved too strong for the forces working for unity, 
and all efforts to find a formula that would unite the two parties 
were set at naught/ 6 

Mahatma Gandhi was deputed 011 behalf of the Congress as its 
sole delegate to the Second Round Table Conference, The British 
Government had nominated Indians from British India including 
many Musalmans but rejected Mahatma Gandhi's suggestion to 
invite Dr Ansari. One of the Committees appointed by the Round 
Table Conference was the Minorities Committee to which was 
entrusted the task of dealing with the question of minorities. The 
Committee failed to come to any agreed solution and the Second 
Round Table Conference was concluded without any final decision 
on the point and consequently also on many other points. No 
Indian was surprised at the failure. There were forces working 
behind the scenes which made any such settlement impossible. Mr 
Edward Thompson writes: 'During the Round Table Conference 
there was rather arTobvious understanding a*nd alliance between 
the mftre intransigent Moslems and certain particularly undemo- 
cratic British political circles. That alliance is constantly asserted 
in India to be the real block to progress. I believe I could prove that 
this is largely true. And there is no question that in former times 
we frankly practised ^ divide and rule' 7 method in India. Prom 
Warren Hastings' time onwards, men made no bones of the plea- 
sure the Hindu-Muslim conflict gave them; even such men as 
Elphinstone and Malcolm and Metcalfc admitted its value to the 
British/ 7 

'Mr Ramsay Macdonald, the Prime Minister, in winding up 
the proceedings of t the Second Round Table Conference announced 
that the British Government held to the principle of a responsible 
Fedenal Government subject to certain reservations and safeguards 
through a period of transition,^ that the Governors' Provinces of 
the future were to be responsibly governed units enjoying the 
greatest possible measure of freedom from outside interference and 
dictation in carrying out their own policies in their own sphere; 
that the North-West Frontier Province should be constituted a 
Governor's province of the same status as other Governor's Pro- 
vinces, and that Sind should be constituted a separate Province if 
satisfactory means of financing it could be found. About the com- 
munal problem he said that the communal deadlock constituted a 
formidable obstacle in the way of progress but that His Majesty's 
Government 'are determined that even this disability should not be 

6. Annual Register for 1931, p. 305. 

7, Edv*ard Thompson: "Enlist India for Freedom," p. 50. 


permitted to be a bar to progress. This would mean that His 
jesty's Government would have to settle for you, not only your 
problems of representation but also to decide as wisely and justly 
as possible, what checks and balances the constitution is to contain, 
to protect the minorities from unrestricted and tyrannical use of 
the democratic principle expressing itself solely through the majo- 
rity power.' 8 

(After this declaration the Communal Award was the natural 
outcome, and it was given in August 1932. The scope of this scheme 
was purposely confined to the arrangements to be made for the 
representation of the British Indian communities in the Provincial 
Legislatures, consideration of representation to the Legislature of 
the Centre \being deferred for the time being, as it involved the 
question of representation of Indian States which needed further 
discussion. 4 The hope was expressed that once a pronouncement 
had been made upon the basic questions of the method and propor- 
tions of representation the communities themselves might find it 
possible to arrive at a modus vivendi on the communal problems. 
If, before the new Government of India Act had passed into law, 
the Government were satisfied that the communities concerned 
were mutually agreed upon an alternative scheme, they would be 
prepared to recommend to Parliament that the alternative should 
be substituted for the provision outlined in the Communal Award. 
By the Award Mohammedans, Europeans and Sikhs were given 
the right to elect their representatives through separate communal 
electorates. Seats were reserved for Mahrattas in certain selected 
general constituencies in Bombay. The depressed classes were 
given seats which were to be filled by elections from special consti- 
tuencies in which they alone could vote. They would also be en- 
titled to vote in the general constituency. Indian Christians were 
also allotted seats, to be filled by voters voting iji separate commu- 
nal electorates and so also Anglo-Indians. A number of seats were 
allotted specially to women which were divided between the various 
communities. Then there were special seats allotted to Labour to 
be filled from Labour constituencies. Special seats were given to 
commerce and industry, mining and planting, to be filled by 
Chambers of Commerce and other associations. Similarly seats 
allotted to Landholders were to be filled by Landholders 1 consti- 
tuencies. It will thus be seen that the principle of dividing the popu- 
lation into communal groups which had been adopted in the Mor- 
ley-Minto Reforms had been considerably extended, even beyond 
what had been done by the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. VThe 
electorate in 1919 was broken up into ten parts; now it is frag- 
mented into seventeen unequal bits. Separate electorates were 
thrust, against their wishes, on women and Indian Christians. The 

8. Annual Register, Vol. II, 1931, p, 446. 


Hindu Community was further weakened by giving separate repre- 
sentation to the scheduled classes. Divisions on the basis of reli- 
gion, occupation and service were made. Every possible cross divi- 
sion was introduced/ 9 

r The distribution of seats among* the various communities was 
no less remarkable. In all discussions about the communal problem 
Bengal and the Punjab presented difficulties.^ In both these Pro- 
vinces the Musalmans are in a majority; but the majority is a small 
one about 55 per cent. In both these Provinces it was demanded 
on behalf of the Musalmans that there should be both separate elec- 
torates and reservation of seats for them although they happened to 
be in a majority. In Bengal the position was complicated by the 
desire of the British Government to give a very heavy weightage 
to the Europeans, while in the Punjab the non-Mohammedans were 
divided into Hindus and Sikhs. The Sikhs insisted that, if there 
were to be separate electorates and reservation of seats, they as an 
important minority community should be given weightage as Mu- 
salmans had got in other Provinces where they. were in a minority. 
The Communal Award maintained with a small variation the pro- 
portion of seats given to Musalmans by the Montugu-Chelmsford 
Reforms in all the Provinces except Bengal and the Punjabi JLn 
Benga^^ per cent of the total 

populationr The^ were given pnlj^ 80 out of jyo_se^ts, i.e. only 32 
per "cent oT the iotak. The Mussalmans wHb were 54.8 per cent of 
tlie population were given 119 seats, i.e. 47.6 per cent of the total. 
The Europeans who were .01 per cent of the population were given 
25 seats, i.e. 10 per cent of the total number of seats. It will thus 
appear that the Musalmans Avho were in a majority were reduced 
to a minority in the representation and J;he Hindus who were in a 
minority were deprived even of their clue proportion in order to 
give a very heavy wpightage of 1,00,000 per cent to the Europeans. 
What is note-worthy is that although the representation of both 
Muslims and Hindus was reduced, the cut was greater in the Hindu 
representation. In other words, unlike other Provinces weightage 
was given to the smallest community not out of the majority com- 
munity alone but out of another minority which was required not 
only to give up any weightage which ijt might feel entitled to as a 
minority but also to make a greater sacrifice proportionately than the 
majority community. In the Punjab also to give weightage to the 
Sikhs the Hindus were required to give up a portion of their repre- 
sentation, although they were in a minority and would be entitled 
to weightage according to ordinary canons of fairness and justice. 
It may also be noted that in both these Provinces the Award re- 
duced the Muslim representation to such an extent as to make it a 
minority of the total, although they still constituted the largest 

9. Mehta ^ Patwardhan: 'The Communal Triangle," p. 72. 


group in the Legislative Assembly and had those seats reserved for 
them to be filled through separate electorates. No wonder the 
Award was assailed with great vehemence by the Hindus who were 
required to make sacrifices in the Provinces where they were 
in a majority and also in the Provinces where they were in a mino- 
rity, >and in Bengal the sacrifice that was imposed on them was 
proportionately much greater nearly double than that required 
of the majority community. The Government anticipated opposi- 
tion and the communique issued by the Government of India in 
this connexion said: 'In so far as each party to the dispute has put 
forward demands for greater representation than the other could 
agree to, it is inevitable that the terms of the settlement should fall 
short of what they require. Indeed, the more equitable the settle- 
ment is, the more likely is it to prove disappointing to all concerned 
in it. But since the British Government is entirely disinterested, 
and !in making the Award is doing its utmost to solve the most 
difficult problem in the best interest of all, it hopes that Indians will 
accept it in the spint it is made, and will honestly try to make it 
work. Finally it may be mentioned that the Secretary of State has 
promised that if, before the new Government of India Act is'jpassed, 
the various Indian Communitities can reach a general settlement of 
their own which differs from his, he will willingly accept it/ 

* The British Government is 'entirely disinterested' forsooth ! 
It was this ^disinterestedness which induced it *o penalize the 
Hindus everywhere, to cut down their representation even though 
they were in a minority in Bengal and cut it down to a greater ex- 
tent than it did in the case of the Muslims,iand that for the purpose 
of giving weightage to Europeans of "1,00,000 per cent! This 
disinterestedness in them induced them to refuse to the Sikhs the 
quantity of weightage in the Punjab which they had granted to 
Mnsalmans in other Provinces and to allow not only separate elec- 
torates but also a reservation of seats for the Musalmans even 
where they were in a majority. Having created conditions which 
made any communal settlement impossible, the Government pro- 
mised willingly to accept any alternative settlement which the 
communities could reach amongst themselves! 

As between British India and the States, the Act of 1935 is 
generous to the Princes at the cost of British India. The population 
of the States is only 23 per cent of the population of India, but their 
rulers are given 33 per cfnt of the voting power in the Lower and 
40 per cent in the Upper House of the Federation. It should be 
remembered that the power of sending representatives to the Fede- 
ral Legislature is not given to the people of the States but to their 
Rulers. Thus has been preserved for the Federation the system of 
nomination through the States to the extent of 33 per cent of the 
Lower House. It is difficult to conceive of a more ingenious method 


of taking away with the one hand what has been apparently given 
by the other. 


An effort was, however, made for a communal settlement in 
India even after this Award and it was almost accomplished when 
the British Government once more intervened and made it impos- 
sible of accomplishment as the following narrative of events will 
show. The Communal Award was announced on i6th August, 
1932. After Mahatma Gandhi's fast and an amendment of the 
Award affecting the depressed classes in pursuance of the Poona 
Pact, negotiations* were started between Pandit Malaviya and 
Maulana Shaukat Ali for working* out a substitute for the Com- 
munal Award. The preliminary talks appeared promising. Mau- 
lana Shaukat Ali appealed to the Viceroy to release Mahatma 
Gandhi, or at least to afford facilities for interviews with him to 
help in the negotiations on the 6th of October 1932. On the 7th 
of October 1932 a statement was issued on behalf of the President 
of the Muslim All-Parties Conference to the effect that it was highly 
inopportune to re-open the question of separate versus joint electo- 
rate and that the Muslim community was not prepared to give up 
this safeguard biU it would be prepared to consider definite propo- 
sals comprehending all the vital issues involved if initiated by the 
majority community. The statement was issued from Simla. On 
the 9th of October the Viceroy's Private Secretary replied to 
Maulana Shaukat Ali's telegram: 'The first step will be for you 
to assure yourself that in the action you contemplate you have the 
support of the Muslim community in general. In this connexion 
attention is invited to the statement issued to the Press on the /th 
October by the President of the Muslim All-Parties Conference and 
others.' 10 it hardly requires to be pointed out that the telegram 
of Maulana Shaukat Ali of the 6th October was not answered by 
the Private Secretary of the Viceroy till the statement on behalf 
of the Muslim All-Parties Conference had had time to be published 
on the 7th and was actually referred to in the reply sent on the 9th. 
When on the 26th of October Maulana Shaukat Ali reiterated his 
request and asked the Viceroy to use his influence with all concern- 
ed so that there could be a peace that would benefit all, the reply 
promptly given on the 27th of October was that so long as Mr 
Gandhi did not definitely dissociate himself from civil disobedience 
his request could not be acceded to. A subsequent request for 
interviews with Ganclhiji only elicited the reply that the letter of 
the 27th October was intended to convey that interviews also could 
not be granted. 

Undeterred by the attitude of the Government, an All Parties 
Muslim Conference was convened on the i6th October at Lucknow 

, 10. Mitra's Annual Register, 1932, Vol. II, pp. 281-2. 


and unanimously passed a resolution welcoming the suggestion 
of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya for the appointment of 
a Committee of the Conference to meet representatives of Hindus 
and Sikhs and actually a Committee was appointed to negotiate an 
agreed solution of the Communal Problem. The Unity Conference 
began its sittings at Allahabad on the 3rd of November, 1932. It 
was attended by 63 Hindus, ii Sikhs, 39 Muslims and 8 Indian 
Christians. The Conference appointed a Committee of 10 for bring- 
ing about an agreement and to report to the Conference. This 
Committee sat from day to day and passed a number of resolutions 
dealing with most of the points about which differences did or could 
arise. Even on the much-vexed question of Bengal and the Punjab 
an agreement was reached so far as the Hindus and the Muslims 
were concerned, the Hindus agreeing to reservation of 51 per cent 
of the seats to Musalmans to be filled by joint electorates. A for- 
mula was evolved which satisfied all parties on the question as to 
whether residuary powers should vest in the Centre or in the 
Federating Units. M Another formula accepted joint electorates but 
made it incumbent on candidates to secure at least 30 per cent of 
the votes polled of their own community, failing which the candi- 
dates securing the highest number of votes of .their community 
were to be returned. There was an agreement also on the question 
of Muslim representation in the Central Legislature which was 
fixed at 32 per cent. Both parties had yielded on some points while 
they had gained on others. 

There was one point, however, on which agreement between 
Hindus and Musalmans alone would not suffice and that was the 
huge weightage given to the. Europeans in Bengal. Under the 
agreement arrived at, the Hindu and Muslim representatives would 
take up between themselves 95.7 per cent of the seats and thus the 
Europeans could not get the 10 per cent of the seats that had been 
given to them. Jt was, therefore, decided that both the Hindus and 
the Muslims should discuss the question with the Europeans in 
Calcutta and the Conference was accordingly adjourned after 
finishing its session in Allahabad. 

It will be recalled that the Communal Award had left the 
question of Muslim representation in the Central Legislature over 
for subsequent decision and had made the separation of Sind subject 
to satisfactory means of financing it being found. While Pandit 
Malaviya was on his way to Calcutta along with Muslim represen- 
tatives to have a talk with the Europeans about their weightage 
the newspapers published the news that Sir Samuel Hoare had 
forestalled him by announcing that His Majesty's Government had 
decided to allot 33-1/3 per cent of British Indian seats in the Central 
Legislature to Muslims, and not only to constitute Sind into a 
separate Province but also to provide it with adequate,,finances as 


subvention from the Central Government. Thus the fruits of the 
labour of the Unity Conference which had sat for weeks and after 
great efforts had succeeded in reaching an agreement on all points 
as between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and other Indian 
communities were cruelly dashed to pieces by the very timely an- 
nouncement of Sir Samuel Hoare. It was not to be expected that 
any agreement could be reached between all parties when it was 
clear that some group or other could always be found to object to 
any agreement however just, and when the British Government 
was prepared to offer better terms than any that an agreed settle- 
ment could secure, for a group willing to accept the highest bid. 


We have seen that the Communal Award had allowed separate 
electorates and reservation of seats to the depressed classes also. 
The provision was modified after the Poona Pact which was 
brought about by Mahatma Gandhi's fast and by which the de- 
pressed classes got a very much larger number of seats than were 
allowed by the Communal Award reserved for them to be filled by 
a special procedure of election. This was in accordance with the 
promise made at the time of giving the Award that its provisions 
were liable to be replaced by agreement that might be reached 
between the parties concerned before the new constitution was 
enacted. The hope and attempt of the Allahabad Unity Conference 
was to get the Award relating to Musalmans substituted by an 
agreement between the Muslims on the one side and other commu- 
nities on the other. We have seen how it was successfully torpe- 
doed by Sir Samuel Hoare just when it was about to succeed. This, 
however, did not succeed in silencing the opposition of the Hindus 
and Sikhs. The opposition went on gathering volume and strength 
while die Reform proposals went through their interminable 
course. The British Government had stated that they would not 
allow want of agreement on the part of the communities to block 
the Reforms and for this reason they announced the Award in 
August 1932. But it took them tferee years to get the Bill passed, 
which happened in the month of jKine 1935. The Congress had in 
the meantime gone through anofner ordeal of suffering and when 
it was in a position to express its opinion freely it refused, because 
of the conflict of views between the Hindus and Musalmans/ either 
to accept or reject the Award at its session held at Bombay in 
October 1934. A few weeks later, elections to the Central Assembly 
were held and the Congress attitude of neutrality about the Award 
was naturally one of the points against which attack was directed. 
The Congress was successful in most of the Provinces but in 


Bengal the members elected, though accepting the Congress pro- 
gramme on other points, were free to take their own line on the 
question of the Award. Bitter controversy against the Award and 
the policy of the British Government had borne fruit in the shape 
of an apple of discord. An attempt was made again early in 1935 
for arriving at an agreed settlement between the President of the 
Congress and the President of the Muslim League but it proved 

The Government of India Act was passed in June 1935, and 
elections under the new Act were held in the winter of 1936-7. The 
All-India Muslim League at its session held in April 1936 at Bom- 
bay passed a resolution recording* its emphatic protest against forc- 
ing a constitution on the people of India and declaring* its opinion 
that the Provincial Scheme of the constitution be utilized for what 
it was worth in* spite of its most objectionable features which 
rendered real control and responsibility of Ministry and Legislature 
nugatory; and that the All-India Federal Scheme was most re- 
actionary, retrograde, injurious and fatal to the vital interest of 
British India vis-a-vis Indian states, and was calculated to thwart 
and delay indefinitely the realization of India's mcfst cherished goal 
of complete responsible government and was entirely unworkable 
in the interests of India. It will be noticed that the Federal Scheme 
was condemned because it was calculated to thwftrt and delay in- 
definitely the realization of India's most cherished goal of complete 
responsible government, and because it was unworkable in the 
interests of India and not because by conceding a Federal Constitu- 
tion or in any other way it injured the interests of Musalmans as 
such. The League appointed a Parliamentary Hoard which issued 
an election manifesto on which the elections were fought. It stated : 
'The main principles on which we expect our representatives in 
various Legislatures to work will be (i) that the present Provincial 
Constitution and the proposed Central Constitution should be 
replaced immediately by democratic full self-government; (2) and 
that in the meantime, representatives of the Muslim League in the 
various Legislatures will utilize the Legislatures in order to extract 
the maximum benefit out of th| constitution for the uplift of the 
people in the various spheres ofwational life. The Muslim League 
party must be formed as a corolmry so long as separate electorates 
exist, but there will be free co-operation with any group or groups 
whose aims and ideals are approximately the same as those of the 
League party/ The programme which was laid down in the mani- 
festo contained only two clauses which refer to Musalmans in 
particular, viz. (a) to protect the religious rights of Musalmans and 
(b) to devise measures for the amelioration of the general condi- 
tion of the Musalmans; the rest referred to matters which were 



common to all irrespective of religious faith, e.g. repeal of repressive 
laws, rejection of measures detrimental to the interests of India and 
fundamental liberties of the people and leading to economic exploi- 
tation of the country, reduction of the cost of administration and 
army, allocation of funds for nation-building departments, develop- 
ment of industries, regulation of currency and exchange in the 
interest of the country, uplift of the rural population, etc. At the 
elections the Muslim League either did not set up candidates in all 
the Provinces for the Muslim seats or did not win them. The 
Congress, on its side, set up candidates for most of the Non-Moham- 
medan General constituency seats but only a few candidates for the 
Muslim seats. The result of the elections was as follows: 

Result of General Elections, 1937 





U. P, 
1 Punjab 


C. P. 
X N-W.y.p. 


X Sind 


No. of 

No. of 
won by 

























No. of 




No. of 
won by 




No. of seats 
won by other 







It will be noticed that the Congress had a majority in five of the 
Provinces. In Bombay and the North- West Frontier Province 
people returned on Independent tick'ets joined it and gave it a 
majority and so it was in a position to form ministries of its own. 
The Muslim League did not have a majority of its own even in the 
Provinces where the population comprises a majority of Muslims, 
viz. Bengal, the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province and Sind, 
in none of which it had even a majority of Muslim seats. So it could 
not form a League Ministry anywhere without the help of other 
groups of Muslims or non-Muslims. It did not win any seat at all 
in four of the Provinces and in the Punjab it won only one seat. 
When the time came for forming Ministries the Congress refused 


to do so 'unless the leader of the Congress party in the Legislatures^ 
is satisfied and is able to state publicly that the Governor will not 
use his special powers of interference or set aside the advice of 
Ministers in regard to constitutional activities/ As the Governors 
did not give the necessary assurances the Congress party did not 
accept office. The assurances for which the Congress asked were in 
respect of the special responsibilities of the Governor, that is to say, 
matters in respect of which the Governor could act in his discretion 
without consulting his Ministers and matters in which he could 
exercise his individual judgement after consulting his Ministers. 
'The cumulative effect of the list of special responsibilities justifies 
the statement of Sir Samuel Hoare that it covers the entire field 
of administration, the prevention of any grave menace to the peace 
and tranquillity of the Province, the safeguarding of^he legitimate 
interests of the minorities, the safeguarding of the rights and legi- 
timate interests, whatever that may mean, of the members of the 
Public Services and their dependants, the prevention in the sphere 
of executive action, of discrimination against Britishers and British 
concerns, the peace and good government of partially excluded 
areas, the protection of the rights of States and the Rulers, and the 
execution of orders or direction of the Governor-General in his 
discretion/ 1 

It will be noted that safeguarding of the legitimate interest of 
the minorities is only one out of so many other matters which cover 
the entire field of administration; and 'Minorities' included Bri- 
tishers in India along with so many other minorities of the country 
apart from the Muslims. Yet Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State 
for India, when declaring that the demand for assurance could not 
be met without an amendment of the Constitution, illustrated this 
point by drawing attention to the situation which would arise if 
the Congress Ministry acted against the intef*ests of a mnority. 
He said: 'A reduction in the number of schools for a minority 
community by a ministry would be clearly within the Congress 
formula, for it would be legal and could not be described as other 
than a constitutional activity. So the Governor would no longer 
be free to protect the minority. It was precisely because it was 
realized that such an action 'would be possible within the constitu- 
tion that Parliament had inserted the safeguards/ 2 The object of 
the reference to a minority community was obvious and had its 
full effect. 

The Congress wanted this assurance not for its ministries 
alone and the parties in majorities in other Provinces could well 
have joined the Congress in pressing for this assurance and thus 
made it possible for the administration to free itself to some extent 

1. Chintamani & Masani: "India's Constitution at Work," pp. 91-2. 

2. ibid., p. 106. 


from the possibility of interference by the Governor in the constitu- 
tional activities of the Ministers. But they did not, and formed 
their ministries without any such assurance. The Congress waited. 
The discussion which followed made it clear that interference with 
the constitutional activities of the Congress Ministries would not 
be at any rate easy or frequent. It is one of those curious expe- 
riences of politics in which what has been called the irrational 
plays such an important part. This demand for assurance 
although claimed for all popular ministries has been described as a 
demand which would benefit the Congress Ministries alone. The 
Secretary of State insinuated that the Congress Ministries might 
use their powers against a minority, and that has been accepted by 
the Muslim League as the only object for which the assurance was 
needed. The League has gone further. Its protagonists have said 
that the assurance was wanted to enable the Congress Ministries 
to use their powers against the Muslim minority for oppressing it. 
The entire field of administration minus this small corner in respect 
of which the asssurance was demanded has been left out of account 
altogether by the propagandists on behalf of th'e League. In actual 
fact, however, there were occasions where the Congress Ministries 
forced the hands of Governors to act according 'to their advice by 
resignation or threat of resignation, but no single occasion arose 
where the rights of a minority were sought to be in any way affect- 
ed by any action of any Congress Ministry where the Governor's 
hands were forced. 

Later on in July 1937, the Congress decided to form Ministries 
as a result of the discussions which had taken place in the mean- 
time. The question then arose whether it should form coalition 
Ministries with the Muslim League. Any such coalition was out 
of the question in Provinces where the League had no member at 
all, viz. Bihar, Orisa and the Central Province. In the United 
Provinces and Bombay an effort was made, which, however, did 
not bear fruit. The Congress had gone to the Assemblies with a 
definite programme and in furtherance of a definite policy; and it 
could not, without being false to the electorate, admit into the 
Ministry persons who did not accept that policy and that pro- 
gramme. The programme, too, was not such as could be objected 
to on communal grounds, although there might be classes compris- 
ing all religious groups and communities who might raise objec- 
tions to certain items in it. It was therefore not a communal 
programme on which differences could arise with the Muslims as 
such. It was a political and economic programme and Musalmans 
who accepted that programme did not cease to be Musalmans for 
that reason. The Congress naturally preferred such Musalmans 
to those who did not accept its programme. The Congress decided 
to stick to the well-known and well-understood constitutional 


principle of having homogeneous Ministries composed of its own 
members among whom Musalmans were, of course, included. It 
accordingly cho*e Muslim Ministers from among those who were 
members of the Congress party. This was the head and front of 
the offence of the Congress. The hint given by Lord Zetland has 
been used for propaganda purpose to the fullest extent. 

*In the matter of appointments to the Ministries the Musal- 
mans as such, and the other minorities had more than their propor- 
tionate share. Of the 71 Ministers of the eleven Provinces, 26 were 
Muslims, 10 of the other minority communities and 35 Hindus; of 
the 35 Ministers in the "Hindu Congress Provinces", 6 were Mus- 
lims and 5 of the other minority communities. Some time later the 
Congress formed coalition Ministries Ui two more Provinces, the 
North- West Frontier Province and Assam. That increased the 
number of Muslim Ministers still further. In the North- West Fron- 
tier Province three out of the four Ministers including the Prime 
Minister, Dr Khan Saheb, were Muslims, while in Assam there 
were three Muslim and five non-Muslim Ministers. These figures 
easily disprove the "Sweeping and fantastic assertions made by the 
League apologists/ 3 *> 

The Congress took office about the middle of July 1937, and had 
hardly been in offce for eight months when on 2Oth March 1938, 
the Council of the All-India Muslim League passed a resolution 
to the effect that whereas numerous complaints had reached the 
Central Office of the hardship, ill-treatment and injustice that were 
meted out to the Muslims in various Congress Government Pro- 
vinces and particularly to those who were workers and members of 
the Muslim League, the Council resolves that a special Committee 
be appointed consisting of the [following] members to collect all 
information, to make all necessary enquiries and to take such steps 
as may be considered proper and to submft its report to the 
Council from time to time. The Committee which was presided 
over by the Raja of Pirpur submitted its report on the I5th Novem- 
ber, 1938. It is not possible here to go into the details of the com- 
plaints mentioned in the Pirpur Report. It may be mentioned that 
after its publication the Congress Ministries made enquiries into 
the allegations and issued communiques giving detailed replies. Some 
of them were discussed also in their respective Legislatures. The 
charges have never been put to the test of impartial investigation. 
Mr Fq.zlul Huq, who was then a leading member of the League, 
threw out a challenge to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Pandit 
Nehru agreed to go round with Mr Huq, as the latter had suggest- 
ed, to ascertain the truth but Mr Huq did not fulfil the engagement. 
In October 1939, the writer of this book, who happened to be at 

3. Mehta & Patwardhan: "The Communal Triangle," p. 114. 


that time the President of the Congress, wrote to Mr Jinnah to 
have the complaints investigated by an impartial authority and 
suggested the name of Sir Maurice Gwyer, the Chief Justice of the 
Federal Court, for the purpose. Mr Jinnah, however, refused to 
accept this suggestion. He wrote in reply: "The matter is now 
under His Excellency's [Viceroy's] consideration and he is the 
proper authority to take such action and adopt such measures as 
would meet our requirements and restore complete sense of security 
in those Provinces where the Congress Ministries are in charge of 
the administration. 1 Neither His Excellency the Viceroy nor any 
of the Governors of the Provinces where Congress Ministries 
functioned, nor Lord Zetland, who remained the Secretary of 
State for India during the whole period the Congress Ministries 
functioned, ever raised any question of Congress atrocities against 
Musalmans or against any other minorities. We are not aware that 
the Viceroy took any action on the representation of Mr Jinnah to 
which he referred in his reply quoted above, nor are we aware that 
Mr Jinnah himself pursued the matter any* further with the 
Viceroy. Later Mr Jinnah came out with a demand for a 
Royal Commission to enquire into the charges but that was not 
acceptable to the*Government and the matter was left there. The 
Congress Prime Ministers, before their resignation, were asked by 
the Congress Parliamentary Board to invite the Governors of the 
Provinces to point out any policy or act of their Ministries which 
adversely affected the minorities and particularly tl^e Muslim mi- 
nority. In not a single case was any Governor able to point out an 
instance. Indeed after retirement Sir Harry Ilaig, the Governor of 
the United Provinces, who did not suffer from any evil reputation 
of having a soft corner for the Congress, testified to the scrupulous 
care of the Congress ministries to deal fairly and justly with the 
Musalmans. The so-called atrocities, therefore, have remained 
mere allegations of a complainant which have never been tested 
and puUto the proof. They have, nevertheless, been a principal 
plank of the League programme and utilized for propaganda 

I might just mention some of the prominent points in the 
charges. The Bandemataram song was regarded as one of the 
causes of conflict between the two major communities. It may be 
mentioned that the song was composed in the eighties of th$ last 
century and has remained popular since the early years of the 
present century not only in Bengal but even in other Provinces. 
It has been sung in Congress and other Assemblies almost regu- 
larly since then. Mr Jinnah himself was a promjnent member of 
the Congress for at least fifteen years when it used to be sung there 
and never .found anything objectionable in it from the Muslim 


point of view. It was sung in innumerable gatherings in the days 
of the Khilafat agitation when Congress had the support of Mus- 
lims in its fight as never before or since, but it was never objected 
to in those clays. Yet it was made one of the major grievances and 
causes of conflict after the Congress Ministries were established 
and is mentioned as the very first in the Pirpur Report. The Con- 
gress Working Committee, however, to meet all possible objections 
and to remove all possible misunderstanding directed that only 
the first two stanzas of it should be sung. The possible objection 
on what may be called the religious aspect of it was thus removed. 
It was said, however, that the Musalmans could not forget the 
background of the story in which the song occurs. It may be 
safely asserted that not one in a thousand outside Bengal knew 
anything about the story until it became necessary to requisition it 
as a justification for objecting to the song. 

The second item is the tri-colour flag*. This flag came into 
prominence during the clays when the Congress was being support- 
ed by the Musalmims during the Khilafat agitation. It w r as accept- 
ed as a national flag by the Hindus and Musalmans in those days. 
Like the Bandemataram song it had drawn against itself t lie wrath 
of the British Government which regarded both, the song and the 
flag as revolutionary symbols and tried to suppress them. It had, 
therefore, won the distinction of having* been defended by many 
Hindus and Muslims who had suffered imprisonment, lathi charges, 
or even death, in its defence. Musalmans as such had never raised 
any objection until the Congress Ministries came into office. It 
may be added that it is not the Hindu flag*. 

Another item of the Congress programme which is regarded 
as an attack on the Muslims is mass contact. The Congress has, at 
least for the last 25 years, become a mass movement as the various 
Satyagraha movements have proved. At its call, masses have come 
forward to suffer for the sake of freedom. It is unnecessary to 
go into any details of these movements. Musalmans joined these 
movements and suffered. It is difficult to understand how it be- 
comes an offence on the part of the Congress if it tries to reach 
the Muslim masses also, unless it be assumed that the Muslim 
League alone has the right to speak to a Muslim in India and no- 
body else Hindu, Muslim, or other can approach them and speak 
to them about political, economic, or any other matter of general 
interest. In every free country every individual or group has or 
ougfit to have the freedom to place before the people his or its 
own ideals and programme of action ; and it is to be hoped that even 
in Pakistan this right will not be denied to its citizens. The Con- 
gress, and for that matter any other body national or communal, 
religious or social, political or economic cannot give up this right 
and the hue and cry against it betrays a lack of appreciation of 


the right of free speech and free association. The communal sepa- 
rate electorates have divided the communities on religious and 
communal lines; theii; effect has been to emphasize the communal 
and religious differences. This has been recognized even by Mu- 
salmans and a split in the League itself occurred on the question, 
Mr Jinnah leading the group opposed to separate electorates. But 
others <jid not accept his lead and he had to give in. If the Con- 
gress still holds to the opinion that communal electorates are bad 
in principle and mischievous in operation, how can any one blame 
it? And yet, what is now demanded is that not only should sepa- 
rate electorates be continued and the voters prevented from voting 
for men of another community, and the candidates from seeking 
and receiving the suffrage of people belonging to another faith, but 
that non-official organizations should not have any contact with 
the Muslims at all. It is a demand which not only extends the 
mischief of separate electorates to activities not connected with 
elections, but makes impossible for Musalmans to come in contact 
with people of any other community. The situation has only to be 
visualized to be rejected outright. 

Another item which has come in for a great deal of criticism 
on the part of the League is the Wardha Scheme of Basic Educa- 
tion. The fundamental principle of that scheme is that education 
should be imparted not through books so much as through crafts. 
Psychologists and educationists in the West have adopted this 
method and it has been accepted basically by the Sargent Scheme. 
The Committee which worked it out at Wardha was presided over 
by Dr Zakir Hussain, an educationist of no mean repute. He was 
assisted in this work by Khwaja G. Sayyedain who was at one time 
connected with the Aligarh University and later became the Direc- 
tor of Public Instruction, Kashmir. It is difficult to understand 
how a scheme which has been prepared by two distinguished 
Muslim educationists can be part of a programme hatched by 
Hindus* to injure Muslim interests. Its only fault is that it was 
Mahatina Gandhi who placed the idea before the public and was 
responsible for convening the Conference which prepared it. This 
scheme has been given practical shape and is being worked out in 
Jame-Millia of Delhi under the direct guidance of Dr Zakir Hus- 
sain. I am not sure if it has been tried so successfully anywhere 
else in the country and yet it is one of the items in the Congress 

I may mention here that special objection was taken to* what 
came to be known as the Vidya Mandir Scheme of the Central 
Province. A conference of Muslim members of the Legislative 
Assembly of the Province was convened by the Prime Minister on 
the 7th February 1939, and was attended by Nawabzada Liaqat 
Ali Khan^ the Secretary of the All-India Muslim League, on 


invitation. The Viclya Mandir scheme was explained by the Prime 
Minister, who emphasized that it was intended to remove illiteracy 
in the rural areas irrespective of caste and creed and that it rested 
on endowments of land and money by private donors. A private 
Association was registered, for this purpose and the Government 
was to give financial assistance to the Association to supplement 
its own resources. He said that he would welcome the formation 
by the Muslims of a similar separate Association if they so desired. 
The Nawabzada said that the Muslims would call the Association 
Madinatul-ilm and the scheme Madinatul-ilm Scheme. The Prime 
Minister promised the same help to this Association and Scheme as 
to the other. The complaints, not only about the Vidya Mandir 
scheme but all others, were gone into in detail and settled to 
the satisfaction of the Muslim members of the Provincial Assembly 
and the Secretary of the All-India Muslim League in an atmosphcie 
of cordiality. The terms of settlement were signed by the Prime 
Minister and Nawabzada Liaqat AH Khan, and the Satyagraha 
started by some Muslims was in consequence withdrawn and so 
also were the prosecutions arising out of it. On the ic;th February 
1939 the Government issued a communique on the subject. The 
Vidya Mandir Scheme, however, continued to furnish an item to 
the catalogue of atrocities of flic Congress. When Mr Fazlul 
Huq revived it, the gentleman's agreement signed by the Nawab- 
zada and Pandit Shukla, the Prime Minister, was published by the 
Government in December 1939 with the consent of the Nawabzada, 
more than a month after the Congress Ministry had resigned and 
can be read in the Hitavada of Nagpur dated 22nd December 1939. 

Another important item against the Congress Ministries is that 
there were Hindu-Muslim riots. Unfortunately these riots do 
occur in the country and they did so before the Congress Ministries 
were constituted and also after they had ceased to function. It 
cannot also be denied that they have become more wide-spread and 
progressively more frequent since separate electorates wero intro- 
duced with the Morley-Minto Reforms. It is not possible to deal 
with particular cases and such of them as went to the courts must 
have been dealt with by them. Mr Durrani has, however, laid 
special stress on one case which happened in Berar and has quoted 
some remarks from the judgement of the High Court on the basis 
of which he has called upon the then Prime Minister of the Pro- 
vince 'to commit suicide or to retire from public life'. Certain 
facts i'n connexion with the case may, therefore, be mentioned. A 
prominent Hindu was murdered and some others were injured. 
The investigation of the case was held under the supervision of a 
European D.I.G. of Police, Mr K. G. Taylor. The trial was held 
not in the District where the incident occurred but at Nagpur 
at the request of the accused. The Sessions Judge who tried the 


case was a European member of the Indian Civil Service, Mr M. N. 
Clark. He was evidently an experienced judge as he was soon 
after raised to the High Court Bench at Nagpur. The trial was 
held after the Congress Ministry had resigned and the judgement 
of the Sessions Court and also of the High Court were delivered 
months after the resignation of the Congress Ministry. It is an 
every day affair in Courts that the judgement of a judge is upset 
by the judgement of an appellate court and so it happened in this 
case. There is one thing which has been made much of against 
the Prime Minister. He delivered a speech which is said to have 
prejudiced the investigation of the case. It must be remembered 
that it was made on an adjournment motion in the Assembly and 
purported to give 'the facts of the case as reported'. The debate 
was raised only three days after the incident and before the matter 
had been taken cognizance of by any court. The Prime Minister 
had, on account of reports of serious communal tension, visited the 
place of occurrence and had taken care to take with him three 
Muslim members of the Assembly, one of whom was K. S. Abclur 
Rahma* 1 Khan, the Secretary of the Provincial Muslim League. 
He had also addressed a public meeting at Khamgaon. The com- 
plaint against him was that in the debate he described the crime 
while the matter was still under investigation as a carefully planned 
murder ruthlessly carried out. In the debate Muslim members 
also described the offence as murder and condemned it in very 
strong terms. As regards the conduct of the Prime Minister, K. S. 
Abclur Rahman Khan, in the course of that very debate, spoke ap- 
preciatively in the following words: 4 I was so pleased to hear the 
Hon'ble Premier in Khamgaon. 1 only wish my friends had only 
followed him in the noble sentiment he has expressed and the lead 
he has given.' 4 As the High Court had made adverse remarks 
against the conduct <5f the investigatipn of the case, the Government 
appointed Mr Justice A. S. R. Macklin, a judge of the Bombay 
High Court, to examine the conduct of the police investigation 
into the case and the preparation of the case for trial in the courts, 
and to report what persons were responsible for the defects and 
irregularities, if any. It appears that allegations of ill-treatment of 
the Musalmans were made and Mr Justice Macklin says that the 
Government of the Central Province at once interested itself in the 
allegation of ill-treatment and immediately ordered an enquiry 
which was held by Mr Hill, the District Magistrate, and tlje allega- 
tions were found by him to be without foundation. Mr Justice 
Macklin was satisfied that the complaints of ill-treatment were not 
true. He also found that the Police were not responsible for bring- 
ing up false evidence in the case and absolved thp Police from all 
blame in this respect. Administration would become impossible 

4. C. P. Legislative Assembly Proceedings, 1939, pp. 307-8. 


if a Prime Minister was to be held responsible for every prosecution 
that succeeds in the first court, but is reversed by the appellate 
court. There is no suggestion that the Sessions Judge was open 
to be influenced by the Prime Minister specially when the trial took 
place after the Prime Minister had resigned and had become a 
mere citizen. 

The Hindi-Urdu controversy has been brought in as another 
instance of Congress atrocities. This is an old controversy and 
still continues. There is nothing that the Congress Ministries did 
to aggravate it so far as the Musalmans were concerned. In fact 
whatever they did was for bringing about a reconciliation. But 
before anything effective could be accomplished they resigned. 

The subsequent history of the communal problem from 1937 
up to date is one of repeated attempts on the part of the Congress 
to have a settlement and of mounting demands by the Muslim 
League, now supported indirectly by the British Government and 
now discouraged, t'hus keeping the country on tenter-hooks. We 
have seen how the atrocity scare has been developed. \n 1938 
efforts were made by Mahatma Gandhi and by Shri Subhas Chandra 
Bose, -the then President of the Congress, to get from the League 
an idea of what would satisfy it so that the Congress and the 
country might consider the demands and meet them if possible. 
This was necessary because the Fourteen Points of Mr Jinnah had 
been practically conceded by the British Government and incorpo- 
rated in the Constitution Act of 1935. The negotiations betweeg 
Mr Jinnah and the then President of the Congress (author of this 
book) early in 1935 took place before the Act had been passed and 
proceeded on the basis of joint electorates. After the Act had 
been passed and not only separate electorates but other points had 
been conceded, it was hardly to be expected that the League would 
agree to give up separate electorates or concede any of the other 
points. In spite of all the safeguards that the League had demand- 
ed and obtained, in spite of the fact that Muslim Ministries w^ere 
functioning in the Muslim Majority Provinces, e.g. the Punjab, 
Sind, North- West Frontier Province, Bengal, and off and on in 
Assam, the League came to the conclusion that the Muslims were 
being oppressed and that all the safeguards and above all the pro- 
mise of the British Government to safeguard their interests through 
the spec^l and reserve powers of the Governor had proved in- 
effective and unreliable. Either the conclusion was a correct con- 
clusion or a false imaginary complex of fear and distrust. If it was 
the former then even separation from India of the Provinces with 
Muslim majorities and the establishment of independent states in 
them would not provide any safeguards for the Muslims .of those 
Provinces, where the Muslims were in a minority as we shall see 


later. But if the latter, there is no remedy except time which may 
wear off the distrust. The League has, however, gone on adding 
to its demands and making any settlement impossible. The pro- 
longed correspondence and negotiations between Mahatma Gandhi, 
Shri Subhas Chandra Bose and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the 
one hand and Mr M. A. Jinnah on the other did not proceed beyond 
the stage of scrutinizing the credentials of the negotiating parties 
to arrive at a settlement. Mr Jinnah insisted that the League 
should be recognized as the one and single body that represents 
the entire Muslim community and that the Congress should speak 
on behalf of the Hindus. The Congress was unable to concede any 
of these points and indeed it could not. The negotiations did not 
succeed even in getting a formulation of the demands of the 
Muslim League. 

It cannot be forgotten that there are other Muslim organiza- 
tions in the country and they do not admit the claim of the League. 
I may mention the Nationalist Muslims organized under different 
names from time to time; the Ahrars who have shown grit and 
undergone sacrifices; the Jamait-ul-Ulema who have consistently 
fought and suffered in the cause of national freedom and possess 
an influence of *heir own which is derived from their position as 
divines and representatives of Muslim learning; the Shias who 
have a separate Conference of their own and have demanded sepa- 
rate safeguards for their rights even as against the League and 
that in spite of the fact that Mr Jinnah and some other leading 
members of the League are also Shias; the Momins who constitute 
a very large proportion, if not a majority, of the Muslims, who are 
organized in a separate Jamait of their own, and who have openly 
and repeatedly repudiated the Muslim League claim; the Nationa- 
lists of Baluchistan, organized as Khuddam-e-Watan (servants of 
the mother country*) ; the Khudai-Khidmatgars of the North- West 
Frontier Province; the Krishak Praja Party of Bengal; and last, 
though not least the Khaksars led by Allama Mashraqi who do 
not see eye to eye with the League on many questions. The 
strength of these parties is variously estimated, their supporters 
claiming majority among the Musalmans, the Leaguers to the 

The Congress could not concede that it was a Hindu organiza- 
tion that would be denying its own past, falsifying its history, and 
betraying its future. It has claimed to represent Indians of all 
faiths and communities in so far as the urge for political ancf econo- 
mic independence is concerned. It does not represent the Hindus 
as such in so far as Hindus may have any separate interest vis-a-vis 
Musalmans and other communal or religious groups. It could not 
therefore accept the position of a communal organization of the 
Hindus alone. In not admitting the League's point of view the 


Congress only stated facts. It was nevertheless prepared to ex- 
plore avenues of settlement of the communal question with the 
Muslim League but that did not satisfy Mr Jinnah and the nego- 
tiations were barred in limine. 

To support the above contention a few citations will suffice. 
Writing to Mahatma Gandhi on March 3, 1938, Mr Jinnah said: 
4 We have reached a stage when no doubt should be left. You 
recognize the All-India Muslim League as the one authoritative 
and representative organization of Musalmans in India, and on the 
other hand you repres^pt the Congress and other Hindus through- 
out the country. It is on that basis we can proceed further and 
devise a machinery of approach/ 5 In course of negotiations with 
Shri Subhas Chandra Bose Mr Jinnah suggested a formula in the 
following words: 'The All-India Muslim League, as the authori- 
tative organization of the Indian Muslims and the Congress as the 
authoritative representative organization of the solid body of Hindu 
opinion have hereby agreed to the following terms by way of pact 
between the two major communities as a settlement of the Hindu- 
Muslim question/ This was, after further consideration, Altered 
by him as follows: 

4 The Congress and the All-India Muslim League, as the autho- 
ritative and representative organization of the Musalmans of India, 
have hereby agreed to the following terms of a Hindu-Muslim 
settlement by way of a pact/ The Executive Committee of the 
All-India Muslim League passed a resolution to the effect that 'it 
is not possible for the All-India Muslim League to treat and nego- 
tiate with the Congress the question of Hindu-Muslim settlement 
except on the basis that the Muslim League is the authoritative 
and representative organization of the Musalmans of India/ Mr 
Jinnah, writing to Shri Subhas Chandra Bose on August 2, 1938, 
went further and said: 'The Council wishes to point out that it 
considered undesirable the inclusion of Musalmans on the Com- 
mittee that might be appointed by the Congress because it 'would 
meet to solve and settle the Hindu-Muslim question/ When Sir 
Tej Bahadur Sapru suggested to Mr Jinnah in February 1941 that 
he and Mahatma Gandhi should meet for settling the Hindu- 
Muslim differences, Mr Jinnah wrote to him in reply on the I9th 
of February 1941 : 'I have always been ready and willing to see 
Mr Gandhi or any other Hindu leader on behalf of the Hindu com- 
munity and do all I can to help the solution of the Hindu-Muslim 

That this demand was a new one is apparent from the fact 
that it had never been made before. The conversations which led 
to the Lucknow Pact went on without assigning the status of the 
authoritative and representative organization of the Muslims to 

5. "Unity Talks," p. 28. 


the League and a similar status of being the authoritative and re- 
presentative organization of the solid body of Hindu opinion to the 
Congress. In the conversations the then President of the Congress 
had with Mr Jinnah in 1935, the question was never raised and 
indeed Mr Jinnah was not prepared to have an agreement with the 
Congress without its endorsement by Pandit Malaviya on behalf 
of the Hindu Mahasabha and as a matter of fact the negotiations 
fell through because the Congress President could not undertake 
to secure such endorsement by the Hindu Mahasabha. 

Further, as stated above, the League not only insisted upon the 
recognition of its own status and assuring the status of a Hindu 
organization to the Congress but also wanted to determine 
who should constitute the Congress delegation for any Conference 
for settling the Hindu-Muslim question with its representatives, as 
is apparent from the passage quoted above. When Mahatma 
Gandhi wanted to have Maulana Abul Kalam Azad with him in his 
talks with Mr Jinnah the latter said no to it. 

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru made many attempts in the course 
of conversations and long correspondence with Mr. Jinnah to ascer- 
tain the points which, the Muslim League considered, required dis- 
cussion and settlement, but he failed. In reply to an earnest appeal 
made by him to enlighten him on the points requiring discussion 
and settlement Mr Jinnah said in his letter dated i/th March 
3938: 'Perhaps you have heard of the 14 points 1 and he referred to 
an article in the Statesman elated I2th July 1937 under the heading 
'Through Muslim Eyes' and an article in the New Times dated ist 
March 1938 mentioning and showing the various suggestions which 
would have to be considered. When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 
hih letter dated 6th April 1938 analysed the points mentioned there- 
in and explained the Congress viewpoint with regard to them Mr 
Jinnah turned rouixl and in his letter dated uth April 1938 said: 
'You have formulated certain points in your letter which you 
fasten *upon me to begin with, as my proposals/ And naturally 
no one was any the wiser about the points which the League would 
have the Congress consider. 

When the War broke out in September 1939, another attempt 
was made by Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru but 
without any effect, and Pandit Nehru in despair was compelled to 
write on the i6th December 1939: 'Unfortunately we never seem 
to reach even the proper discussion of these problems as various 
hurdles and obstructions in the shape of conditions precedent come 
in our way. . . . As these hurdles continue and others are added to 
them I am compelled to think that the real difficulty is the difference 
in the political outlook and objectives/ 

The JLeague and its President while unwilling to formulate 


the points of difference for discussion with the Congress were not 
equally undisposed towards disclosing some of them to the Viceroy 
from time to time. The British Government too, on its side, was 
not unwilling to take advantage of the differences that existed 
for which purpose it was necessary to help the League to strengthen 
its position in the country. It will b recalled that it was the 
Muslim All-Parties Conference which had insisted upon a Federal 
Scheme for India. But by the time the Act of 1935 had devised 
such a scheme the League and particularly Mr Jinnah had under- 
gone a complete change in their outlook and the Federal part of 
the Constitution had become the chief target of their attack. The 
Viceroy announced on the nth of September, 1939, that prepara- 
tions in connexion with the introduction of Federation would re- 
main in suspense during the pendency of the War. The Working 
Committee of the All-India Muslim League passed a resolution 
appreciating the suspension and expressing a wish that the Federal 
Scheme should be abandoned completely, urging the British Go- 
vernment to revise tJie entire problem of India's future constitution 
de novo and asked 'for an assurance that no declaration regarding 
the question of constitutional advance for India should be made 
without the consent and approval of the All-India Muslim League 
nor any constitution be framed and finally adopted by His 
Majesty's Government and the British Parliament without such 
consent and approval/ 

Lord Linlithgow replied on the 23rd December, 1939, that 
'His Majesty's Government are not under any misapprehension as 
to the importance of the contentment of the Muslim community to 
the stability and success of any constitutional development in 
India. You need therefore have no fear that the weight which 
your community's position in India necessarily gives their views 
will be underrated/ Mr* Jinnah had an interview on the 6th 
February 1940 with the Viceroy and the Government communique 
issued after the meeting stated: 'His Excellency assured Mr 
Jinnah that His Majesty's Government were fully alive to the 
necessity for safeguarding the legitimate interest of all minorities 
and that he need be under no apprehension that the importance of 
those subjects will be lost sight of/ This, however, did not satisfy 
the Muslim League and explaining the view of the Working Com- 
mittee of the League after quoting the passage mentioned above, 
Mr Jinnah wrote to the Viceroy in his letter dated 23rd February 
1940: 'I regret to say this does not meet the point raised by the 
Muslim League, because it still leaves the position of 90 millions in 
India only in the region of consultation and counsel and vests the 
final decision in the hands of Great Britain to determine the fate 
and future of British India. We regret that we cannot accept this 
position/ He insisted upon a definite assurance that 'no commit- 


ment will be made with regard to the future constitution of India 
or any interim settlement with any other party without our 
approval or consent/ The British Government made another 
attempt through the Viceroy and the Secretary of State made a 
statement in the House of Lords on the ist April 1940 which the 
Viceroy communicated to Mr Jinnah in another letter, it was as 
follows: 'The undertaking given by His Majesty's Government to 
examine the constitutional field in consultation with the represen- 
tatives of all parties and interests in India connoted not dictation 
but negotiation. Admittedly a substantial measure of agreement 
amongst the communities in India is essential, if the vision of 
United India which has inspired the labours of so many Indians 
and Englishmen is to become a reality; for I cannot believe that 
any Government or Parliament in this country would attempt to 
impose by force upon, for example, 80 million Muslim subjects of 
His Majesty in India a form of constitution under -which they 
would not live peacefully and contentedly/ The Working Com- 
mittee of the League was not satisfied with this further clarification. 
Mr Jinnah had another interview with the Viceroy on the 25th 
June 1940 and submitted a note to him of the points which he had 
discussed with, him, in his letter dated ist July 1940. That note 
contained the following points: 

(1) That no pronouncement or statement should be made by 
H.M.G. which would in any way militate against the basic and 
fundamental principles laid down by the Lahore resolution about 
the division of India and creating Muslim States in the North- 
West and Eastern zones. 

(2) That His Majesty's Government must give definite and 
categorical assurance to the Musalmans of India that no interim 
or final scheme of constitution could be adopted by the British 
Government without the previous approval and consent of Muslim 

(3) That intensification of War efforts, and mobilization of 
Indian resources can only be achieved provided the British- Govern- 
ment are ready and willing to associate the Muslim Leadership as 
equal partners in the Government both at the Centre and in all the 
provinces. In other v/ords, Muslin] India's leadership must be 
fully trusted as equals and have equal share in the authority and 
control of Governments, Central and Provincial. 

(4) Provisionally and during the period of the War the follow- 
ing steps should be taken : 

(a) The Executive Council of the Viceroy should be enlarged 
within the framework of the present constitution, it being under- 
stood that the Muslim representation must be equal to that of the 
Hindus if the Congress comes in, otherwise the Muslims should 
have the majority of 'the additional members as the main burden 


and the responsibility will be borne by the Musalmans in that 

(b) A War Council should be established of not less than 15 
members including the Viceroy as its President. The representa- 
tion of Muslim India on it must be equal to that of the Hindus if 
the Congress comes in, otherwise they should have the majority; 

(c) Finally the representatives of the Musalmans on the pro- 
posed War Council and the Executive Council of the Governor- 
General and the additional Advisers of the Governors should be 
chosen by the Muslim League. 

The Viceroy could not fail to appreciate that the demand was 
really for transfer of power to the Muslim League and in his reply 
dated 6th July 1940 he said that while he readily accepted the 
importance of securing adequate representation of Muslim interests 
there was no question of 'responsibility' falling in greater or less 
degree on any particular section. 'Responsibility', he said, 'will 
be that of the Governor-General in Council as a whole. Again it 
will be clear that under existing law and practice it must remain in 
the Secretary of Sta'te in consultation with the Governor-General, 
to decide upon such names as he may submit to His Majesty the 
King for inclusion in the Governor-General's Council and such 
persons cannot be the nominees of political parties, however im- 
portant.' He said further: 'I ought, 1 think, to make it clear that 
it would be constitutionally impossible for the choice of Muslim 
gentlemen to be appointed to my expanded Executive Council or as 
non-official advisers to rest with the Muslim League. But in the 
contingency envisaged you need not fear that any suggestion you 
may put forward would not receive full consideration/ 

On the 7th of August 1940, the Viceroy issued a statement 
declaring the Government's policy. After referring to the Govern- 
ment's previous declarations relating to the examination of the 
entire Act of 1935 in any review of the constitution of India, he said 
that the Government could not contemplate the transfer of their 
responsibilities for the peace and welfare of India to any system 
of Government whose authority is directly denied by large and 
powerful elements in India's national life, nor could they be parties 
to the coercion of such elements into submission to such a Govern- 
ment. He promised on behalf of the Government the setting up, 
after ^the conclusion of the War, of a body representative of the 
principal elements in India's national life to devise the framework 
of a ne\y constitution. He also announced the Government's inten- 
tion to invite a certain number of representative Indians to join the 
Governor-General's Executive Council and to establish a War Ad- 
visory Council. Mr Amery in the course of the discussion of 
the Viceroy's offer in the House of Commons underlined the dif- 
ferences in India. He said: The constitutional deadlock jn India 


is not so much between His Majesty's Government and a consen- 
tient Indian opposition as between the main elements of India's 
own national life. It can, therefore, only be resolved not by the 
relatively easy method of a bilateral agreement between His Ma- 
jesty's Government and representatives of India but by the much 
more difficult method of a multilateral agreement in which His 
Majesty's Government is only one of the parties concerned/ Among 
the other parties he mentioned the Muslims, the Scheduled Castes, 
and the Indian Princes. At the same time he also said that 
India is a self-contained and distinctive region of the world and 
that it can boast of an ancient civilization and of a long history 
common to all its people. We thus see the third side of the triangle 
gradually but nonetheless steadily expanding. On the one hand, 
while democratic principles are given lip-homage the 'elements in 
the national life of India' are patted on the back or on the face as 
it suits the occasion. Substantial measure of agreement for any 
constitutional advance is insisted upon and the deadlock is described 
to be not between India and Britain but between different groups 
or interests of Indians themselves. When the Muslim League 
demands previous approval and consent to any constitutional mea- 
sure and the sole right to nominate the Muslim representatives to 
various bodies tfie first demand is evaded by a general declaration 
and the second by a more specific refusal. When it demands sepa- 
ration of the North-West and North-East Zones, India is reminded 
that it is a self-contained and distinctive region of the world and 
has an ancient civilization and a long history common to all its 
people. The Working Committee of the League considered the 
Viceroy's declaration, so far as it related to the future constitution, 
to be satisfactory, but the specific offer regarding the expansion of 
the Executive Council as most unsatisfactory. The Viceroy's offer 
to appoint two members to the Executive Council out of a panel 
of four to be submitted by the League did not commend itself to 
them nor did a similar offer regarding the Advisory Council. Fresh 
negotiations did not carry matters further and Mr Jinnah came 
out with a statement on the 29th September 1940 before a meeting 
of the Council of the All-India Muslim League that the British 
Government appeared to have no intention to part with power and 
that they were trifling with 90 million Muslims who were a nation. 
Thus the effort to have what Mr Jinnah called a War contract 
between the Government and the Muslim League failed for the 
time being. 

Later in the year the Congress started what is called the 
individual civil disobedience movement for vindicating the right 
of free speech. It was obvious that the movement had nothing to 
do with the Musalmans or the League and the right for which it 
was started would accrue to the benefit as much of the Musalmans 


as of anybody else. Yet the Muslim League treated it as being 
directed against the Muslims. The Council of the All-India Mus- 
lim League adopted a resolution stating that they 'have no doubt 
as to the real motive and object of Mr Gandhi in launching and 
pursuing vigorously his movement of Satyagraha' and drew 'the 
attention of the British Government that if any concession to the 
Congress is made which adversely affects or militates against the 
Muslim demand it will be resisted by the Muslim League with all 
the power it can command and the Muslim League desires to place 
it on record that if the situation demands it would not hesitate to 
intervene and play such part in this struggle as may be necessary 
for the protection of the rights and interests of the Musalmans of 
this country.' 

The following" session of the Muslim League was held in 
Madras in April 1941 and the constitution of the League was so 
amended as to embody the attainment of Pakistan in the creed. 

The next stage in the process of bargain between the British 
Government and the Muslim League was what has been called the 
Cripps offer. In March 1942 Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the 
War Cabinet of Britain, came to India with a declaration of the 
Government's policy and proposal. It contemplated the creation 
of a new Indian Union which should form a Dominion equal in 
status to the other Dominions of the Crown. It laid down the 
procedure for the framing of a new constitution for India and His 
Majesty's Government undertook to accept and implement the 
constitution, subject to the rights of any Province in British India 
that was not prepared to accept the new constitution, to retain its 
constitutional position, provision being made for its subsequent 
accession if it so decided. Further, His Majesty's Government 
would be prepared to agree upon a new constitution for the non- 
acceding provinces giving them the same status as to the Indian 
Union. The declaration further contained an invitation to Indian 
leaders to participate in the counsels of the country, retaining the 
control and direction of the defence of India in the hands of the 
Government of India. 

The declaration thus conceded the right of secession to any 
Province of British India from the All-India Union and practically 
accepted the demand of the Muslim League for the creation of 
Muslim States independent of the Indian Union. The Congress 
Working Committee did not reject the offer, as it could have done, 
on the ground that it contemplated a break-up of the Indian unity. 
On the other hand it made it clear that it 'cannot think in terms 
of compelling the people in any territorial unit to remain in an 
Indian Union against their declared and established will but point- 
ed out that any break-up of that unity would be injurious to all 


concerned/ It rejected the offer on the other ground that the offer 
kept the defence out of the sphere of responsibility and reduced 
it to a farce and nullity. The Muslim League Working Committee, 
however, waited until the decision of the Congress Working Com- 
mittee rejecting the offer had become known, and then passed a 
resolution that the proposals in the present form were not accept- 
able. It expressed gratification at the fact that the possibility of 
Pakistan was recognized by implication and expressed its convic- 
tion that it was neither just nor possible in the interests of peace 
and happiness of the two peoples to compel them to constitute one 
Indian Union composed of the two principal nations Hindus and 
Muslims which appeared to be the main object of the declaration, 
the creation of more than one union being relegated only to the 
realm of remote possibility and purely illusory. It also objected to 
the machinery for the creation of the constitution-making body 
as being a fundamental departure from the right of the Musalmans 
to elect their representatives with separate electorates. It even 
objected to the procedure for obtaining the vet diet of a Province 
for or against accession. It laid down that the plebiscite in the 
Provinces in which the Musalmans are in a majority should be 
not of the whole adult population hut_of the Musalmans alone. 
Otherwise it would be denying them the "Inherent" right to self- 
determination. It thus becomes clear that when the British Go- 
vernment has conceded the right of a Province to keep out of the 
Indian Union and lays down that this should be decided by the 
Legislative Assembly by a majority of 60 per cent and in case such 
majority is not available then on a demand being made by the 
minority, by a plebiscite of the male adult population, the League 
insists that the vote of the Assembly cannot be a true criterion of 
ascertaining the real opinion of the Musalmans of those provinces 
and insists that the plebiscite should be confined to the Musalmans 
alone, $nd the minorities even though they may happen to be 
something in the neighbourhood of 45 per cent as is the case in 
Bengal and the Punjab should be ignored altogether and should 
have no voice at all in deciding a vital question involving the break- 
ing-up of the unity of India and cutting the minorities off from 
the rest of their countrymen with whom they have been associated 
from time immemorial. 

The Cripps Mission having failed, the All-India Congress 
Committee at its meeting held in Bombay on 7th and 8th August 
1942, passed its memorable resolution which has come to be known 
as the ' Quit India' resolution. On the eve of the meeting as on 
various previous occasions declarations had been made on behalf 
of the Congress that it did not want power for itself byt for the 
people of India and that it would-be content Jfjjie. Muslim League 
^ook office with real power. But wlieji fKe Working Committee of 


the Muslim League met from i6th to 2Oth August 1942 it passed a 
resolution which contained the following : 

' It is the considered opinion of the Working Committee that 
this movement is directed not only to coerce the British Govern- 
ment into handing over power to a Hindu oligarchy and thus dis- 
abling themselves from carrying out the moral obligations and 
pledges given to the Musalmans and other sections of the peoples 
of India from time to time but also to force the Musalmans to 
submit and surrender to the Congress terms and dictation. . . / 
After making an offer to the British Government that the League 
was prepared to take up responsibilities on a footing of equality pro- 
vided its demands were met, the Working Committee of the League 
called upon the Musalmans to abstain from any participation in 
the movement initiated by the Congress. Thereafter the movement 
was regarded as one directed against the Muslims and League 
propagandists insisted on the withdrawal of the August Resolution 
of the All-India Congress Committee before the release of Con- 
gressmen from prison and before any negotiations with the Con- 
gress for settling the deadlock could be initiated. Th^y have 
persisted in their charge that the Congress was in league with 
Japan even after the British Government has repudiated such 

Mahatma Gandhi's prolonged conversations with Mr Jinnah 
in September 1944 proved junfruitful and did not succeed even in 
eliciting from Mr Jinnah aTcomplete picture of his Pakistan with 
its boundaries demarcated, constitution foreshadowed and safe- 
guards for the minorities in it defined. 

The Wavell proposals for a provisional, interim settlement 
without* any prejudice to the future constitution which would be 
devised after the War were made in June 1945. One of the funda- 
mentals of the proposals was that there should be parity of repre- 
sentation in the Viceroy's Executive Council between Hindus other 
than the Scheduled Castes and the Musalmans. Thus what the 
League had been insisting upon, viz. equality of representation in 
the Provisional Government with the Hindus was conceded. The 
Muslim League and Mr Jinnah have since 1937 taken the minorities 
of India under their special protection and care and while pressing 
their cwn demands have never failed to impress upon all concerned 
that the Hindu majority and particularly the Congress which had 
been ' the authoritative and representative organization of the solid 
body of Hindu opinion ', were out to ' oppress and suppress the 
minorities '. They have treated the Depressed Classes as apart from 
the Hindus and as a minority requiring their protection.. The Bri- 
tish Government has been anxiouscto keep the League on the right 


side as the only counterpoise to the growing strength of the masses 
of India represented by the Congress and has gone on making 
concession after concession to satisfy thje^eyer-expanding demands 
of the League, and this last offer of a parity between the Muslims 
and the Hindus other than the Scheduled Castes was in keeping 
with their policy of appeasement. But as on previous occasions 
it failed to appease and Mr Jinnah's insistence that he should nomi- 
nate all the Muslim members to the Council ami none else, brought 
about a failure of Lord Wavell's offer who, however, took upon 
himself the ' responsibility ' for such failure, as in truth it was. But 
another curious development came out as a result of the Simla 
failure. It brought about the emergence of a further demand from 
the Muslim League which in effect amounts to a claim that the 
Muslim League should have a parity not only as against the Hindus 
other than the Scheduled Castes but also against them and all 
others including all other minorities combined. Mr Jinnah said at 
a Press conference after the Simla Conference on I4th July 1945 : 
' Next in the proposed Executive we woujd be reduced to a 
minority of one-third. All the other minorities such as the Sche- 
duled Castes, Sikhs and Christians have the same goal as the 
Congress. They have their grievances as minorities, but their goal 
and ideology is and cannot be different from or otherwise than 
that of a united India. Ethnically and culturally they are very 
closely knitted to the Hindu society. I am not against full 
justice being done to all the minorities. They should be fully 
safeguarded and protected as such, wherever they may be. But 
in the actual working and practice invariably their votes will be 
against us and there is no safeguard for us except the Vic^roj^s 
.veto, which, it is well known to any constitutionalist, cannot be 
exercised lightly as everyday business against majority decisions 
with regard to the policy and the principles that will have to be 
laid down and measures adopted both administrative and legisla- 
tive/ It is clear, therefore, that there can be no protection for a 
minority unless it is converted into a majority or at least to an 
equality with all the rest. It may be noted in passing that Mr 
Jinnah here gives up the pretence of protecting the other minorities, 
regards the Congress goal and ideoldgy as being the goal and 
ideology of not only the Scheduled Castes whom he still treats as a 
minority and the Sikhs but also of the Christians, and apprehends 
that in actual working and practice their vote will invariably be 
with the Congress and against the League. The Viceroy's veto 
which alone will constitute a safeguard for the Muslims will prove 
to be ineffective and illusory. It would be difficult to conceive of a 
greater condemnation of the policy and ideology of the League 
than that it cannot expect support from anybody else in India, not 
even front Musalmans not nominated by itself. 


We have gone at considerable length into the history of the 
communal problem with particular reference to the Muslim ques- 
tion and the part the British Government has played in it. We 
may here summarize the long discussion by dividing it into several 
parts. i 

First we have the period when the East India Company was 
acquiring power and was establishing the British Rule in India. 
Its policy was frankly based on the age-old maxim of divide and 
rule and consisted in taking the side of one Indian Prince against 
another and preventing their combining against the foreign Com- 
pany, By the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century 
almost all the independent Indian Princes had been either subju- 
gated or brought e under alliance and the Mughal Emperor had 
become a powerless puppet at Delhi. Those that remained were 
soon liquidated. 

The next period witnesses many annexations on one pretext or 
another and the firm establishment of the Company's rule. There 
was discontent, deep and wide-spread, against foreign rule. Musal- 
nians felt keenly not only the loss of power and prestige but also 
of material prosperity. A movement for reform was started but it 
took the form of a jehad against the Sikhs who were then ruling in 
the Punjab. The British Government connived at the jehad if it 
did not actually encourage it, so long as the Sikhs were an inde- 
pendent power on the North-West of British territory; but after 
the conquest of the Punjab from the Sikhs the movement was 
suppressed with a heavy hand. 

Discontent which had been smouldering burst out in 1857 in 
the form of a rebellion in which Hindus and Muslims both joined 
and rallied round the old Emperor at Delhi. The rebellion failed 
and the Mughal Empire was brought to an end and the sovereignty 
of India passed to the Queen of England. The rebellion was follow- 
ed by sevete pleasures from which Musalmans^ suffered greatly. It 
took a few years for the country to recover from the repression that 
had followed the rebellion. 

Hindus had taken advantage of English education which had 
been introduced but the Musalmans had sulked and thus lagged 
behind. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan started the movement for the educa- 
tional uplift of Musalmans and established the Aligarh College. 
On the political side the Indian National Congress came into 
existence in 1885 and furnished a platform for all English educated 
Indians from all Provinces to meet and discuss questions of public 


importance and offer suggestions to the Government for removing 
grievances. One Mr Beck became the Principal of the Aligarh 
College and took charge not only of the students but practically 
also of Muslim politics. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan under his influence 
advised the Musalmans to keep aloof from the Congress. Many 
Musalmans, however, continued their association with the Congress 
but the influence of the Aligarh College continued to be exercised 
in favour of alliance with conservative elements in England and 
reliance on officials here for the advancement of the Musalmans. 
The Patriotic Association and the Mohammedan Defence Associa- 
tion were established and worked under the inspiration and gui- 
dance of Mr Beck and Mr (afterwards Sir) Theodore Morrison, 
Principals of the Aligarh College. 

In the first decade of the twentieth century Lord Curzon 
partitioned Bengal ostensibly for creating a province with a majo- 
rity of Muslim population. This led to a bitter agitation and 
created, as was expected, bad blood between the Hindus and 
Musalmans of Bengal although there were maYiy Musalmans of 
note who were opposed to the partition. Lord Minto became the 
Viceroy of India after Lord Curzon's retirement and he in colla- 
boration with Lord Morley the Secretary of State for India worked 
out a measure of reform. In anticipation of the proposals of reform 
a deputation of Muslims was organized under the advice of Mr 
Archbold, the then Principal of the Aligarh College, who had 
been in touch with the Private Secretary of the Viceroy. In res- 
ponse to the deputation of the Muslims led by the Agha Khan, 
the Viceroy recognized the special claims of the Musalmans and 
gave them representation in the Legislative Council through sepa- 
rate electorates. In British circles both here and in England this 
was regarded as a gr t eat service by the Viceroy as it was nothing 
less than keeping back the Musalmans from joining the ranks of 
the seditjonists. Thus the seed was sown which has now grown 
into a tree with deep roots and wide- spread branches, to the great 
detriment of India and the lasting benefit of Britain which has 
succeeded in thus blocking the way to Indian Independence. 

Not only did the Congress accept separate electorates though 
reluctantly but offered to the Muslims, in those Provinces where 
they were in a minority, representation much in excess of their 
proportion in the population. The Lucknow Pact was entered into 
between the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim 
League in December 1916 and a joint demand was put before the 
British Government comprising two parts, one dealing with sepa- 
rate electorates and representation of Musalmans in Legislatures 
and the other with political demands of a mild nature for a share 
in the government of the country to be enjoyed by its people. The 
British Government declared itself in favour of the progressive 


realization of self-government by the people of India. In the actual 
working out of the reform proposals associated with the names of 
Mr Montagu the Secretary of State, and Lord Chelmsford the 
Viceroy of India, the separate electorates part of the demand was 
accepted in its entirety but the political part was ignored and substi- 
tuted by what came to be known as dyarchy in the Provinces. 

Events in Europe and India continued to bring about a great 
awakening amongst Indians of all castes and creeds. The Punjab 
tragedy and the Khilafat wrongs brought the Hindus, Musalmans 
and others together in a mass upheaval and the Congress, the Khi- 
lafat Committee, the Jamait-ul-Ulema and other organizations 
worked together with a common programme and were, in the 
words of Lord Lloyd, within an ace of succeeding. The Viceroy 
was ' puzzled and perplexed '. After many of the most prominent 
Hindu and Muslim leaders had been clapped in jail and the move- 
ment of civil disobedience withdrawn as a result of violence by 
mobs against Police, Hindu-Muslim riots appeared and continued 
to deface the country for many years. The inspiring scenes of 
fraternal co-operation and collaboration gave place to fratricidal 
feuds and conflicts. The programme of non-violent non-co- 
operation which had been jointly adopted and acted upon by the 
Congress and Muslim organizations weakened and lapsed. 

After the Gauhati Congress an effort was made to bring about 
a solution of what had already become the Hindu-Muslim problem. 
Early in 1927 there was an exchange of thought between Hindu 
t} nd Muslim leaders and some prominent Muslim leaders formulat- 
ed what came to be known as ' Muslim Proposals '. There were 
four points in it. Thoughtful Indians had realized the mischief of 
separate electorates and the Muslim proposals contemplated their 
abolition, provided the four points mentioned in them were con- 
ceded, namely : (i) creation of Sind into a province, (ii) introduc- 
tion of reforms in North- West Frontier Province and Baluchistan 
as in other provinces, (in) representation of Musalmans in Legis- 
lative Councils of Bengal and the Punjab in proportion to their 
population, and (iv) their representation in the Central Legislature 
to be not less than one-th^rd of the total. 

As a result of consideration and further consultation a settle- 
ment between the Congress and the League looked very much like s 
being achieved when the Madras session of the Congress was held 
in December 1927. 

The Reforms introduced in 1920 Had been boycotted by the 
Congress and the Muslim organizations and had satisfied no party 
in the country but had been worked by moderate elements. A 
demand had been insistently made for their revision and persis- 
tently refused by the British Government until towards the end 
of 1927 it decided to appoint: a Statutory Commission to report on 


their working. This Commission had no Indian on it arid naturally 
caused resentment which was shared alike by Congressmen, Mus- 
lim Leaguers, Liberals and others. The Congress and the Liberals 
decided to boycott the Commission. There was a split in the 
Muslim League on the question of the boycott of the Commission 
and the abolition of separate electorates. In pursuance of a reso- 
lution passed by the Congress at Madras a committee in collabo- 
ration with other groups and committees framed a scheme of 
constitutional reforms for India and its report known as the Nehru 
Committee Report was placed before an All-India Convention of 
all parties in Calcutta. Some amendments to the proposals in the 
report were moved on behalf of the League demanding that the 
Muslim representation in the Central Legislature should not be 
less than one-third, that in case of adult franchise not being granted 
Bengal and the Punjab should have seats on population basis and 
the residuary powers should vest in the Centre. These not being 
accepted, the League withdrew. The Muslim All-Parties Confe- 
rence came into existence and in course of tiqie the two wings of 
the League became merged in it and the Fourteen Points of Mr 
Jinnah became the Muslim demand. 

Two of the principal items in the Muslim demand were that 
the form of the Constitution of India should be Federal and that 
the Legislatures and other elected bodies should be constituted 
on the definite principle of adequate and effective representation of 
minorities in every Province without reducing the majority in any 
Province to a minority or even equality. The First Round Table 
Conference accepted Federation. The Minorities Committee of 
the Round Table Conference having failed to achieve agreement 
Mr Macdonald gave what has come to be known as the Communal 
Award in which he practically conceded most of the other items of 
the Fourteen Points, reserving the question of Muslim representa- 
tion in the Centre for future decision and making the creation of 
Sind hi to a separate Province subject to its being financially able 
to maintain the administration. The award is unjust to the Hindus 
and Sikhs. It maintained the weightage given to Musalman repre* 
sentation in the legislatures in. Provinces where Musalmarts are in 
a minority. Instead of giving weightage to Hindus in Bengal it 
gave them only 32 per cent of the seats when they constituted 44.8 
per cent of the population in order to be able to give the very high 
weightage of 10 per cent of the seats to Europeans when tljey were 
only o.oi per cent of the population. It cut down the representation 
of the Musalmans also but the cut in the case of the Hindus was 
greater than that of Musalmans* In the Punjab too the Hindus 
instead of getting weightage as a minority had their representation 
cut down to give some weightage to the Sikhs. The Sikhs also 
failed to* get the weightage that Musalmans got in other Provinces, 


The Award was naturally opposed by Hindus and Sikhs but was 
incorporated in the Act of 1935. Attempts to find a substitute for 
it by the Unity Conference of Allahabad were sabotaged by the 
British Government and the agreement reached was nullified. 

After the Act of 1935 was passed the Muslim League took a 
somersault and became the most determined opponent of the Fede- 
ral Scheme which it, along with the Muslim All-Parties Conference, 
had persistently demanded and which had been conceded by the 
British Government and embodied in the Act of 1935. At the elec- 
tion that followed under the Act of 1935 the League was unable to 
secure any seats in four Provinces and a majority of even Muslim 
seats in the Provinces where Muslims are in a majority in the 
population. It could not therefore form any ministry in any Pro- 
vince without combining with other groups and the Congress was 
unable to have a coalition with it in other Provinces, in some of 
which it had no representatives at all and in none, except one, of 
which it had a majority even of Muslim seats. This enraged the 
League against the ^Congress and it became bitterly hostile to it. 
Hardly had the Congress Ministries been in the saddle when it 
came out with its list of acts of tyranny and oppression committed 
by the Congress Ministries against Musalmans. Itmay be pointed 
out that not one of the Governors with whom rested the responsi- 
bility of protecting minorities did once, even when invited by the 
Congress Ministries, point to any injustice done by them to Musal- 
mans and they indeed eulogized their administration both while 
they were in power and alter they had resigned. An effort by the 
Congress to have the charges investigated by an independent and 
impartial person like the Chief Justice of India was rejected by 
Mr Jinnah. Efforts by the Congress to discuss and settle, if pos- 
sible, the points of difference between it and the League were barred 
in liminelyy the League demand that the Congress should recognize 
the League as the sole representative of the Muslims of India, thus 
throwing overboard not only the Musalmans who were In the 
Congress but also other Muslim organizations, and that the Con- 
gress should treat itself as the representative of the Hindus. On 
the start of World War II the Congress Ministries resigned 
and the Muslim League celebrated the event by observing a day 
of deliverance. The British Government, while rejecting the Con- 
gress demand for clarification of the War aims as applicable to 
India and a promise of independence after the War and establish- 
ment of national government during the War, suspended the 
Federal part of the Act of 1935 in response to the League demand 
and declared that no constitutional proposals would be furthered 
which did not command the approval and consent of important 
elements in the national life of India, including among them the 
Princes, the Musalmans, the Scheduled Castes, etc. Notcontent 


\vith this the League adopted the Desolation for Pakistan at its 
Lahore session in March 1.940, and made its attainment a part of 
Its creed at the following annual session at Madras. 

Till then the League as all other Muslim organizations had 
been content to regard the Muslims as a minority community in 
India whose interests needed to be safeguarded. Various sugges- 
tions for safeguarding them, beginning with separate electorates 
and weightage in representation and ending with the Fourteen 
Points, were made, and adopted from time to time by the British 
Government. One of the most important of these proposals was 
that the Government of India should be of the Federal type and this 
too was accepted. All this did not satisfy the League and it decided 
to have independent Muslim States in the North-Western and 
Eastern Zones of India where Muslims were in a majority. In the 
course of the negotiations which took place during the Second 
World War between the League and the British Government, the 
League demanded (i) that Pakistaii^]iyoald^ and that 

in any case nothing should be said or done in* the interim which 
would nrejudice it when the constitutional problem was finally 
settled, (ii) that in the interim expansion of the Viceroy's Execu- 
tive Council the 'Muslim representation should be equal to that of 
the Hindus in case Congress representatives were taken but that 
the Muslims should be in a majority if the Congress did not join, 
and (iii) that the Muslim members should be nominees of the 
Muslim League and no others. The Muslim League posed as the 
champion and protector of rights of other minorities against the 
tyranny of Hindus and the Congress. It treated the Scheduled 
Castes as separate from the Hindus and as a minority. The British 
Government practically accepted the first demand by conceding to 
Provinces the right of secession from the Indian Union. It did not 
accept in so many words the second demand but conceded it in 
action by appointing an equal number of Hindus and Musalmans on 
the Executive Council. Curiously enough the Hindu Mahasabha 
in this position allowing its representatives to join the 

Executive Council. The British Government did not accept the 
third demand and preserved intact its right to appoint whomsoever 
it liked. The Congress was insistent that the independence of 
India should be assured and that there should be a present transfer 
of power to Indians in all matters except in regard to the actual 
conduct of the War. The British Government's rejection of these 
demands led to the All-India Congress Committee resolution passed 
at Bombay on 8th August 1942, sanctioning civil disobedience, 
the sudden arrest of Congress leaders and the events that followed 
it. The Muslim League treated the August resolution as being 
directed against the Muslims and insisted on its withdrawal. The 
British Government, however, came forward with fresh proposals 


known as the Wavell proposals and released the members of the 
Congress Working Committee to enable them to consider the pro- 
posals. Lord Wavell convened a Conference to which were invited 
leaders of the Congress and the League and the leaders of parties 
in the Central Legislature and Prime Ministers of Provinces. In 
the proposals a fundamental item was that in the Executive Council 
there would be parity of representation between Muslims and 
Hindus exclusive of the Scheduled Castes. As stated above this 
parity has been in action since 1941 but was now accepted by the 
British Government as an essential part of the proposals. The 
Conference failed. The Muslim League insisted that only its 
nominees and no others should be appointed as the Muslim repre- 
sentatives on the Council. Mr Jinnah was dissatisfied further be- 
cause in the proposed Executive the Muslims would be reduced to 
a minority of one-third inasmuch as ' all the other minorities such 
as the Scheduled Castes, Sikhs and Christians have the same goal 
as the Congress ' and ' in the actual working and practice invariably 
their votes will be against us [Muslims] and there is no safeguard 
for us except the Viceroy's veto which, it is well known to any 
constitutionalist, cannot be lightly exercised/ When parity 
between Hindus and Musalmans is acted upon in practice and con- 
ceded in terms, Mr Jinnah would insist on parity between Musal- 
mans on the one hand and the Hindus who are the majority and 
all other minorities put together on the other. Indeed, even such 
a parity may not provide a sufficient safeguard and a majority for 
Muslims may become the next demand. 

We have thus since 1930 three stages in the evolution of the 
Muslim League demands and British concessions. In the first stage 
Federation and effective and adequate representation in Legisla- 
tures for minorities are insisted upon. Sincfe in some Provinces 
Musalmans are in a majority and other communities constitute mi- 
norities, and the latter may demand the same weightage as'is given 
to Muslims in Muslim minority Provinces, effective and adequate 
representation of minorities is limited by the proviso that in 
no case should a majority be reduced to a minority or even to 
equality in any Province. The British Government accepts Fede- 
ration. It concedes heavy weightage to Muslims in Provinces 
where they are in a minority. It refuses such weightage to Hindus 
in Bengal and in the Punjab where they are in a minority and in 
Bengal it gives them less representation than their proportion in 
the population and indeed imposes upon them a larger cut than 
on Muslims for providing extra representation to Europeans* 

In the second stage the League rejects Federation as soon as it 
is conceded by the British Government and embodied in the Act of 
r 935' and demands creation of independent Muslim States in the 


North- Western and Eastern zones of India. It gives up its insis- 
tence on the proviso that in no case should a majority be reduced 
to a minority or even equality, when that applies to the non-Muslim 
majority and demands that there should be equality between the 
Hindu majority and the Muslim minority, if the Congress co- 
operates, but if the Congress does not co-operate, then the Hindu 
majority should be reduced to a minority and the Muslim minority 
given a majority. The British Government suspends Federation 
and promises that no constitutional scheme would be accepted 
which did not secure the approval of Muslims. It accepts equality 
of representation between Hindus and Muslims in practice. 

In the third stage the British Government accepts parity 
between Hindu and Muslim representation as an essential part of 
its proposals. .The League rejects the Government proposals be- 
cause it is not allowed to nominate all the Muslim representatives 
and further points out that the majority community of the Hindus 
and all other minorities like the Scheduled Castes, Sikhs and 
Christians will always act together and the 'Muslims would be in 
a minority and unable to safeguard their interests. The interests 
of the Muslim minority cannot be safeguarded unless that mino- 
rity is given a majority in the Executive as against not only the 
Hindu majority but as against the Hindu majority and all other 
minorities combined together. 

In this race between Muslim League demands and British 
Government concessions the League is always ahead of the British 
Government by a few lengths, and the Hindu majority and all other 
minorities cannot have even an entry. No wonder the base of the 
Communal Triangle lengthens and the angle of communal diffe- 
rences widens. 


We have considered at some length the thesis that Hindus and 
Musalmans constitute two separate nations and we have seen how 
during the long period of Muslim rule in India a culture which was 
neither exclusively Hindu nor exclusively Muslim but a Hindu- 
Muslim culture a Hindustani way was developing as a result of 
conscious effort on the part of both Muslims and Hindus and of 
the reaction of economic, political, social, and religious factors 
which were operating all through the period. We have also seen 
that the two nations theory has been improvised only during the 
last few years to support the proposal for division of India into 
Muslim and non-Muslim states. There is, however, no denying the 
fact that the All-India Muslim League has resolved more than 
once since 1940 to achieve this division, and the All-India Muslim 
League does represent a great many Musalmans. It is therefore 
necessary to consider the proposal on its merits, apart from the 
argument by which it is supported. A great deal has been spoken 
and written for and against the proposal. On both sides passionate 
pleading has be*en indulged in and not a little sentimentalism 
brought into play. Sentiment has its value and should not be 
lightly cast off. Nor can it be nonchalantly brushed aside. But 
it can certainly be checked and regulated in the light of hard reali- 
ties and facts which have a knack of asserting themselves at most 
critical moments and upsetting many a plan which has ignored 
them. I propose therefore to place some facts for the consideration 
of all those who are interested in the problem, whether as sup- 
porters or opponents: But before proceeding to do that I may 
summarize the variqjus proposals for the division of India into inde- 
pendent states or for the redistribution of her various component 
Provinces and States, on a cultural basis and for cultural purposes. 
It is necessary to do so as the All-India Muslim League has not 
yet published any detailed plan and has contented itself with laying 
down some general principles on which the proposed division should 
be based. Many plans were published before the All-India Muslim 
League passed its first resolution on the subject at its annual ses- 
sion at Lahore in March 1940; but the League, instead of adopting 
any of them or formulating a separate plan of its own, thought fit 
to resolve only on principles, leaving the plan to be workfed out 
later. It has not published any plan up to this moment, although 
five years have elapsed since the general principles were enunciated. 
Any one wishing to consider the League proposal on its merits is 
thus put at a disadvantage and has to consider the various plans 
published from time to time by individuals or by groups who do 
not and cannot claim any authority on behalf of the League. It 


may also be pointed out at this stage, as will be seen from the 
discussion that follows, that none of the schemes so far published 
coincides with, or can be legitimately said to fulfil, the basic prin- 
ciples which the League has laid down in its resolution, It is never- 
theless useful to summarize these schemes and to point out in what 
respect they fail to satisfy the tests laid down by the League. 

The schemes which have been published from time to time 
fall into two categories, viz. (i) Schemes for creation of independent 
Muslim and non-Muslim states, and (ii) Schemes for re-distribution 
of Provinces and States from a cultural point of view and for 
cultural purposes. The main and fundamental difference between 
the two sets of schemes lies in the fact that those included in the 
first category contemplate completely independent Muslim and 
non-Muslim states, each having its own arrangement for defence, 
foreign policy and development, and definitely discarding any 
Central authority having even limited power on the different parts; 
those in the second class while conceding considerable autonomy 
to each part contemplate a Central or Federal authority with some 
power, however limited, over the whole country. 


This is a scheme by ' A Punjabi ' published in a book bearing 
that name and is worked out in some detail. According to this 
scheme the present sub-continent of India can be split up into 
various countries on the following lines and reassembled in a Con- 
federacy of India : 

(i) The Indus Regions 9 Federation with the Punjab (minus its 
Eastern Hindu tracts comprising the Ambala Division, Kangra 
District and Una and Garhshankar Tahsils of the Hoshiarpur Dis- 
trict), Sind, the North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan, 
Bahawalpur, Amb, Dir, Swat, Chitral, Khairpur, Kalat, Las Bela, 
Kapurthala, and Malerkotla as its federal units. The author has 
calculated that this Federation of the Indus Region, which he 
proposes to name as ' Indus-stan ' will comprise an area of 3,98,838 
sq. miles with a population of about 3,30,00,000, of whom about 82 
per cent will be Muslims, about 6 per cent Sikhs, and about 8 per 
cent Hindus. 

(ii) The Hindu India Federation with the United Provinces, 
the Central Province, Bihar with some portions of Bengal, Orissa, 
Assam, Madras, Bombay and the Indian States, other than Rajistan 
and Deccan States included in the Deccan States' Federation, as its 
federal units. He has not worked out the area and population of 
these units except the Bengal Federation but they will be as 
follows : 


Area . . . . . . 7,42,173 sq, miles 

Population .. .. 21,60,41,541 

Percentage of Hindus . . 83.72 

Percentage of Muslims . . n.o 

. (iii) The Rajistan Federation with the various states of Raj- 
putana and Central India as its federal units. The area and popu- 
lation will be as follows: 

Area . . . . . . 180,656 sq. miles 

Population .. .. 1,78,58,502 

Percentage of Hindus . . 86.39 

Percentage of Muslims . . 8.09 . 

(iv) The Deccan States 9 Federation comprising the Hyderabad, 
Mysore, and Bastar States. Their area and population are as 

Area . 5 . . . . , 1,25,086 sq. miles 

Population .. .. 2,15,18,171 

Percentage of Hindus . . 85.82 

Percentage of Muslims . . 8.90 

(v) The Bengal Federation The promiifent Muslim tracts 
of Eastern Bengal and Goalpara and Sylhet districts of Assam as 
its provincial injits and Tripura and other States lying within the 
provincial unit or cut off by its territories from Hindu India as its 
State units. The area and population of this Federation will be as 
follows : 

Area . . . . . . 70,000 sq. miles 

Population . . . . 3,10,00,000 

Muslims . . . . . . 2,05,00,000 or 66.1 per cent 

Hindus .. .. .. 1,01,00,000 or 32.6 per cent 

'A Punjabi' admits that not being familiar with the conditions 
prevailing in this area his suggestion is subject to adjustments 
which local Muslims may consider necessary. His figures, too, do 
not appear to be quite accurate, although they roughly represent 
the percentages. The districts of Bengal which he includes in this 
Federation are Dinajpur, Rangpur, Malda, Bogra, Rajshahi, Mur- 
shidabad, Pabna, Mymensingh, Nadia, Jessore, Faridpur, Dacca, 
Tippera, Noakhali, Bakarganj, Khulna, and Chittagong. ' 

Thus of the five Federations into which India would be dmded 
according to this scheme, two will be Muslim Federations with 
Muslim majorities and the remaining three will be Hindu Federa- 
tions in which the population will be overwhelmingly Hindu. It is 
noteworthy, however, that in the Indusstan Federation tftere will 
be a Hindu population of 8 per cent and Sikh population of 6 per 
cent or a non-Muslim minority population of 14 per cent ; while 
in the Bengal Federation the Hindus will be no less than 32.6 per 
cent. In the three Hindu Federations the Muslims who will be 
the minority will form n, 8.09 and 8.9 per cent. 



The five Federations will be assembled in a Confederacy. In 
a confederation of India on the lines chalked out above each fede- 
ration joining it can have a governor-general with governors of its 
provincial units under him, responsible to the central confederal 
authority in relation to the confederal subjects and matters relating 
to the rights and obligations of the Crown in respect of the Indian 
states within the federation. The confederal authority can be 
vested in the Viceroy assisted by a confederal assembly consisting 
of members drawn from the various Indian Federations. The 
' number of such members to be drawn from a federation can be 
fixed according to its importance judged from the point of view of 
its significance to the confederacy as regards its geographical 
situation in the sub-continent, population, area, economic position, 
etc. Foreign relations, defence, matters relating to water-supply 
from the common natural sources, and rights aiul obligations of 
the Crown in relation to the Indian states (which may join any of 
the British provinces' Federations), can be entrusted to their 
governor-generals who will be responsible to the Viceroy. The 
various federations "joining the confederacy can either directly 
contribute towards the revenues of the confederacy or assign some 
portions of their revenues from some specific heads towards its 
expenses/ 1 'Under no circumstances should the Muslims of North- 
West consent to assign customs as a source of the confederal reve- 
nues/ 1 The author is at pains to point out two things. In the first 
place this quinquepartite confederation "does not mean breaking 
up the geographical unity of the Indian sub-continent by tearing it 
up into pieces and assigning them to the communities on a popula- 
tion and cultural basis. It simply means internal partition effected 
between the various members of a joint family without breaking 
their mutual bond of relationship. Consequently, separation means 
assigning different parts of the sub-continent to different commu- 
nities on cultural basis and their reunion in a confederacy/ 2 In the 
second place 'we should also make it clear to those Muslim sepa- 
rationists who want separation in order to link their destinies with 
states outside the Indian sub-continent, that in demanding sepa- 
ration we should not be inspired by any such extra-territorial ideals, 
ambitions, or affinity. We , should be separationists-cum-f edera- 
tionists, and, if the Hindus disagree with the idea of a confederacy 
of a Hindu India and a Muslim India, then we should be simply 
separationists, demanding secession of our regions from Hindu 
India without any link between them. . . . The foreign element 
amongst us is quite negligible and we are as much sons of the soil 
as the Hindus are. Ultimately our destiny lies within India and 
not out of it. And it is for this reason that we have abstained from 
using the word "Pakistan" and have instead used the word 

1. " Confederacy of India," by ' A Punjabi ', pp. 12-13, 2. ibid., p. 15. 


"Indusstan" to denote the North-West Muslim block/ 3 But that 
this is not going to remain the final objective is apparent from the 
following in the last pages of the book: 'It is necessary to make 
it clear that the separation of our regions from Hindu India is not 
an end in itself, but only a means for the achievement of an ideal 
Islamic state. The proposed separation will undoubtedly lead to 
our ejpiancipatipflL from the economic slavery of the Hindus. But 
us our object is the establishment of an ideal Islamic state, it also 
denotes complete independence. After independence has been 
achieved, it would be impossible for us to maintain for long in an 
un-Islamic world, our ideal of an Islamic state. As such, we shall 
have to advocate a world revolution on Islamic lines. Consequently 
our ultimate ideal is a world revolution on purely Islamic lines. 
Separation, emanciption from the economic slavery of the Hindus, 
and freedom from the constitutional slavery of the British, are only 
some of the means for the achievement of our ultimate ideal of a 
world revolution on completely Islamic lines.' 4 The author does 
not like exchange of population and says: 'We would prefer sepa- 
ration of the predominant Muslim regions from Hindu India with- 
out any exchange of population. Indus Regions minus the Ambala 
division and other Hindu tracts of the Punjab in the North- West 
and Chittagong, Dacca and Rajshahi Divisions of Bengal with the 
Districts of Goalpara and Sylhet of Assam in the East can be 
easily separated from India and constituted into two separate 
states. In this sense, separation will help 2,57,14,657 Muslims of 
the Indus Regions and about 2,30,00,000 of Bengal and Assam to 
escape Hindu domination, while 2,89,63,343 Muslims will remain 
in Hindu provinces/ 5 In other words, about 63 per cent of the Mus- 
lims will, to use the author's expression, 'escape Hindu domina- 
tion' and just more thap 37 per cent will remain under that domi- 


This scheme differs fundamentally from the Muslim League 
proposal in that it contemplates a confederacy. There will be a 
confederal or central authority which will deal with confederal 
subjects including 'foreign relations, defence and matters relating 
to water-supply from the common natural sources and rights and 
obligations of the Crown in relation to the Indian states/ Accord- 
ing to the scheme the Muslim Regions will not be completely inde- 
pendent states, with full control finally of defence, foreign affairs, 
communications, customs and such other matters as may be- neces- 
sary. In its essence it is a scheme not for creating completely 
independent Muslim States and non-Muslim States but one for 
redistribution of the various parts of the country into five zones, 
each of which will have several subordinate zones.* The subordinate 

3. 'A Punjabi 1 , op. cit., p. 17. 4. ibid., pp. 209-70. 5. ibid., p. 204. 6. ibid., p. IS, 


zones will be more or less autonomous and will constitute federa- 
tions. These federations will be assembled into a confederacy of 
the whole country. 

The Muslim League resolution says nothing, as will be seen 
later, about Indian states; but this scheme includes all the states 
"and places them under one federation or another. 

It frankly does not contemplate independence of India or any 
part of it from the British Empire and bases itself on the conti- 
nuance of the offices of the Governor-General, the Viceroy and the 
Governors. i 

It tries roughly to satisfy the test of the Muslim League reso- 
lution that 'the area in which the Muslims are numerically in a 
majority as in the North- Western and Eastern Zones with such 
territorial readjustments as may be necessary', should be grouped 
to constitute independent states. In doing so it-excludes certain 
areas from the Punjab and some from Bengal in which Muslims 
are in a minority, but in working this out it is not quite correct, as 
some other areas also should be excluded from the Muslim State 
on the same basis. 'For example, the whole of the Jullundar Divi- 
sion ought to be excluded from the Indusstan Federation as Mus- 
lims are in a minority in each of the Districts of that Division, the 
Hindus and the Sikhs forming a majority. If we take the three 
principal communities separately District by District of that Divi- 
sion, the Hindus form an overwhelming majority in the Districts 
of Kangra and Hoshiarpur. There are more Sikhs than Muslims 
in the District of Luclhiana. In the Districts of Jullundar and 
Ferozepur alone the Muslims are more than the Hindus and Sikhs 
taken singly, but less than the Hindus and Sikhs taken jointly. In 
the Amritsar District of the Lahore Division also the Hindus and 
Sikhs jointly constitute a majority, the Muslims being in a mino- 
rity, the proportion of non-Muslims to Muslims being approxi- 
mately 54 to 46. In the Bengal Federation also he is not justified 
in^ including the^ District of Goalpara where the Muslims are in a 
minority as against the non-Muslims. As the separation is to be 
for creating Muslim units, there is no reason why any area in 
which Muslims are in a minority as compared with non-Muslims 
should be included in the Muslim unit. 

Apart from other criticisms to which all schemes of separation 
are open and which will be dealt with later, the scheme of 'A 
Punjabi' lends itself to certain comments which are peculiar to 
itself. * The five federations into which the country is to be divided 
do not appear to be based on any intelligible principle except that a 
majority of the inhabitants of the two Muslim Federations are 
Musalmans. The Hindu Federation comprises no fewer than six 
regions separated each, from others by other federations interven- 
ing. It spreads from the Himalayas to Cape Comorimand from 


the north-eastern corner of lildia bordering on China and Burma 
to the Arabian Sea. Several corridors have to be provided to con- 
nect one^portion with another. Several tracts are torn from their 
natural surroundings and tacked on to others from which they are 
separated by long distances. Within this vast area all the languages 
that are spoken in the whole of India except Sindhi, Baluchi and 
Pushto will be found to be spoken. Similarly the inhabitants of 
this area will be found to follow each and every religion of the 
country, only their numbers and proportions will be different. It 
will contain portions of British India and Indian States. If this 
can form one federation with more than two crores of Muslims and 
all the other differences and diversities within it, there is no reason 
why the whole of India cannot form one federation. If the Raj- 
putana and Central India Agency States .form one federation, there 
is no reason why Bastar which naturally by language belongs to 
the Chhattisgarh or Orissa States should be torn from them and 
attached to the Hyderabad Federation. Similarly there is no reason 
why Travancore and Cochin, which are more or less contiguous to 
Mysore, should be attached to the Hindu Federation and torn 
away from the Deccan States' Federation. Within the Hyderabad 
State three languages are spoken by the inhabitants, viz. Marathi, 
Telugu and Kanarese apart from Urdu which is the language of 
the Ruler. The addition of Mysore and Cochin and Travancore 
will add only one more language to the Federation, viz. Malayalam 
which is spoken in Cochin and Travancore, the language of Mysore 
being Kanarese. 

There was an outline of a scheme suggested by Mr M. R. T. 
published in the Eastern Times which is reproduced m -India's Problem 
of her Future Constitution. As it follows more or less closely the 
scheme of division 'suggested by 'A Punjabi' it is not given here 


The second scheme is that proposed by Professors Syed Zafrul 
Hasan and Mohammed Afzal Husain Qadri of Aligarh. It is to 
divide India into several wholly independent and sovereign states 
as follows: 

(i) Pakistan comprising the Punjab, N.-W.F.P., Sind, Balu- 
chistan, and the states of Kashmir and Jammu, Mandi, 
Chamba, Sakit, Sumin, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Chitral, 
Dir, Kalat, Loharu, Bilaspur, Simla-Hill states, Bahawal- 
pur, etc. 

Population 3,92,74,244 Muslims 2,36,97,53860.3 per 


(ii) Bengal (excluding Howrah and Midnapur Districts), 
Purnea District (Bihar), Sylhet Division (Assam) 
Population 5,25,79,232 Muslims 3,01,18,18457.0 per 

(iii) Hindustan comprising the rest of India and Indian States 
(excluding Hyderabad, Pakistan, Bengal and the States 
included therein) 

Population 21,60,00,000 Muslims 2,09,60,0009.7 per 

(iv) Hyderabad comprising Hyderabad, Berar and Karnatak 
(Madras and Orissa) 

Population 2,90,65,098 Muslims 21,44,010 7.5 per 

(v) Delhi Province including Delhi, Meerut Division, Rohil- 
khund Division and the District of Aligarh (Agra 

Population 1,26,60,000 Muslims 35,20,000 28 per cent 
(vi) Malabar Province consisting of Malabar and adjoining 
areas, i.e. Malabar and South Kanara 
Population 49,00,000 Muslims 14,40,000 27 per cent 
Further, all the towns of India witji a population of 50,000 or 
more shall have the status of a Borough or Free City, with a large 
measure of autonomy. These will have a Muslim population of 
13,88,698. The Muslims in the rural areas of Hindustan must be 
persuaded not to remain scattered in negligible minorities as they 
do at present but to aggregate in villages with a preponderant 
Muslim population. 

The aforesaid three states of Pakistan, Bengal, and Hindustan 
should enter into a defensive and offensive alliance on the following- 

(i) Mutual recognition and reciprocity. 

(ii) That Pakistan and Bengal be recognized as the homeland 
of Muslims and Hindustan as the homeland of Hindus, to which 
they can migrate respectively, if and when they want to do so. 

^ (iii) In Hindustan tlje Muslims are to be recognized as a 
nation in minority and part of a larger nation inhabiting Pakistan 
and Bengal. 

(iv) The Muslim minority in Hindustan and non-Muslim mi- 
nority in Pakistan and Bengal will have (a) representation accord- 
ing to population and (b) separate electorates and representation 
at every stage, together with effective safeguards guaranteed by 
all the three states. Separate representation according to popula- 
tion may be granted to all considerable minorities in the three 
states, e.g. Sikhs, non-caste Hindus, etc. 

(v) An accredited Muslim political organization will be the 
sole official representative body of the Muslims in Hindustan. 


Each of the three independent States of Pakistan, Hindustan 
and Bengal will have separate treaties of alliance with Great Britain 
and separate Crown representatives, if any. They will have a joint 
court of arbitration to settle any dispute that may arise between 
themselves or between them and the Crown. 

Hyderabad commands a position which is exclusively its own. 
It is recognized as an ally by the British Government. In truth it is 
a sovereign State by treaties. Berar and Karnatak were taken from 
it by the British for administrative reasons and so they must be 
restored. Hyderabad with its restored territories should be recog- 
nized expressly as a sovereign State, at least as sovereign as Nepal. 
With Karnatak restored it will have a sea-coast and will naturally 
become the southern wing of Muslim India. 

The scheme is open to most of the objections to which Pun- 
jabi's scheme is open and in many respects in an aggravated form. 
It does not even attempt to fulfil the Muslim League test of includ- 
ing only areas with Muslim majorities within the Muslim states, 
thus including the Division of Ambala with a clear and overwhelm- 
ing Hindu majority as also the Division of Jullundar with an 
equally clear non-Muslim majority, in Pakistan. In the Eastern 
Zone it includes districts of Bengal which have a Hindu majority 
and of Assam with clear non-Muslim majorities. It includes even 
the District of Eurnea of Bihar which has a large Hindu majority. 

It creates Hyderabad with Berar and Karnatak added to it as 
a sovereign Muslim state. It is not clear why it should be treated 
as a Muslim country when the population is so overwhelmingly 
Hindu the Muslims being only 10.4 per cent of the population. If 
the fact that the ruler is a Muslim is the decisive and only point for 
making it a Muslin) country, there is no reason why Kashmir which 
has a Hindu ruler should be tacked to Pakistan. 

Ii seeks to intensify the division by creating so many separate 
and independent 'free cities' all over India. Since the authors 
have compared Hindus and Muslims to Czechs and Sudeten Ger- 
mans, one may compare these cities to Danzig and one can only 
hope that it is not intended that hisfory should repeat itself and 
India see a war for the conquest of the Czechs (the Hindus) and 
of Hindustan (Czecho-Slovakia) on the pretext of the Indian 
Czechs' the Hindus' ill-treatment of the Indian Sudetns the 
Muslims, and to free the so-called free cities the Danzigs of India. 

The authors contemplate mutual recognition and reciprocity 
as between Hindu and Muslim states. When defining the bases of 
'defensive and offensive alliance' between them, they claim that 
in Hindustan the Muslims are to be recognized as a nation in mino- 
rity and "part of a larger natipn, but they make no mention of a 
similar right to be given to Hindus living in Pakistan and Bengal, 


Again, they claim that an accredited Muslim political wganization 
will be the sole official representative body of the Muslims in Hin- 
dustan but give no such right to the Hindus and other minorities 
in Pakistan and Bengal to have an accredited political organization 
of their own to be their sole official representative. 

In short, it is a scheme for creating separate independent 
Muslim States based on only one intelligible principle which runs 
through the whole scheme, viz. heads you lose, tails we win. 


The third scheme is the one contained in a pamphlet by 
Chaudhry Rahmat AH entitled The Millat of Islam 'and the Menace of 
'Indianism. It was written in 1940. The writer is the Founder- 
President of the Pakistan National Movement which he started in 
1933. Originally it^was confined to the formulation of a demand 
for Pakistan, that is, for separation of the five constituent parts 
which give to the whole zone the name of Pakistan, viz. Punjab, 
^fghania (North- West Frontier Province of which the inhabitants 
are mainly Afghans), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchisfcz/i. In 1940 he 
felt that the reception which had been given to his scheme 'en- 
courages us not only to continue our labours in that sphere but 
also, to initiate the second part of the programme, the part pertain- 
ing to Bengal and to Usmanistan (Hyderabad-Deccan).' 1 'For in 
all human certainty, if once we agree to remain within '"India", 
we shall, for ever, rot in subjection to "Indianism" which is 
solemnly canonised into a new cult by its clever devotees the 
Indian nationalists, cringingly accepted by its miserable creatures, 
the Muslim careerists and cruelly supported 'by its self-seeking 
patrons the British Imperialists. 1 " 1 He finds fault with'the All-India 
Muslim League for its name 'the All-India Muslim Leagu'e, who, 
at long last now claim for the Millat nationality distinct from the 
"Indians" but still cling to "India" and call her their "common 
motherland"/ 8 'To accept the territorial unity of "India" is to 
fasten the tyrannical yoke c of "Indianism" on the Millat/ 4 'Let 
them be conclusive and abandon "India". That is, live to sever all 
ties with "India", to save the Millat from "Indianism" and to 
save "Pax Islamica"/ 5 The author insists upon sovereign states 
of Pakistan, of Bengal and of Usmanistan. Assam is only a hinter- 
land attached to Bengal and this area is to be known as Bang-i- 
Islam. 4 It is advisable to state the pivotal fact that we derive our 
right to Usmanistan from those canons of International Law from 

which other nations deduce their claims to their domains, that this 


1. Ch. Rahmat All: "The Millat of Islam and thte Menace of Indianism/' p. 1, 2. ibid p 4 
3. ibid., p. 6. 4. ibid., pp. 11-12. 5. ibid., p. 14. 


right includes her de jure sovereignty which is solemnly acknow- 
ledged in the treaties originally entered into between the British 
Government and the Ala Hazrat of Usmanistan, the "Faithful 
Ally"; and that this State is unique in the sub-continent in that no 
other state enjoys it, in the same sense and to the same extent, as 
does Usmanistan. 1 'When that is done, we must and we will 
build on solid and secure foundations of Pakistan, Bengal and 
Usmanistan, three independent nations which will be larger, bigger, 
and more powerful than any that ever existed in history/ 'If we 
really wish to rid ourselves of "Indianism", to re-establish our 
nationhood as distinct from "India'* and to link our national 
domains to one another as South Asiatic countries, we must scrap, 
the All-India Muslim League as such and create instead an alliance 
of the nations of Pakistan, Bengal and Usmanistan. 

'For this alone would set the final seal on our separation from 
"India", inspire the Millat and impress the world as nothing else 
would. That clone we would have stood the test and made the 
choice, we would have achieved the supreme unity of purpose, plan 
and effort in our strongholds and given a new birth to our sacied 
cause in South Asia. And then inspired by the solemn conviction 
in our historic mission and united under the "crescent and stars" 
we would carry through our fight to final victory/ 7 

The author is thus a most uncompromising protagonist of the 
two nations theory, or rather of Muslim States wherever they can 
be established. Such details as the area*s to be included in them 
and the rights, if any, of non-Muslims living in them and of Mus- 
lims living in 'India' do not appear to him to be deserving of 
discussion, when he wrote this pamphlet. He is inspired by a pro- 
phetic vision and is not disturbed by such petty considerations. If 
Muslim states are once established, all will be right; if they are 
not established, nothing can be right. 

Mr Rahmat AH was not satisfied with his scheme for the 
establishment of Pakistan, Bangistan and Usmanistan. lie inaugu- 
rated in 1942 _what he calls Parts III, IV, VI and VI f of the Pak 
Plan The Seven Commandments of Destiny for the seventh 
Continent of Dinia' are contained in the pamphlet under the cip- 
tion of The Millat and The Mission. They are : 
(i) Avoid Minorityism. 

(ii) Avow Nationalism. 

(iii) Acquire proportional territory. 

(iv) Consolidate the individual nations. 

(v) Co-ordinate them under the Tak Commonwealth of 

(vi) Convert India' into 'Dinia'. 

(vii) Organize 'Dinia' and its dependencies into 'Pakasia'. 

6, Rahmat All, op. cit., p. 15. 7, ibid., p. 16. 


(i) Avoid Minorityism The commandment means that we 
must not leave our minorities in Hindu lands, even if the British 
and the Hindus offer them the so-called constitutional safeguards!' 

(ii) Avow Nationalism 'This commandment is complemen- 
tary to the previous one and means that we must assert and demand 
recognition of the distinct national status of our minorities in the 
Hindu majority regions of Dinia and its Dependencies and reci- 
procally offer to g'ive similar status to the Hindu and Sikh mino- 
rities in Pakistan, Bangistan and Usmanistan! The command- 
ment is inspired by the truth that nationhood is to people what 
majority or manhood is to individuals. ... It is true that until 1940 
there were colossal difficulties in the way of making such a demand 
for our minorities, but now they have been removed by the Sikh 
claim to separate national status in Pakistan. ' So we must make 
the most creative use of the claim and, on the principle of propor- 
tional territory, offer to meet it as met it can be in the area of 
the three Sikh states of Patiala, Nabha and Jhind, on the absolute 
condition that our demand for similar status for our Minorities ii* 
the seven Hindu Majority Regions of Dinia and its Dependencies 
(Sidcliqistan, Faruqistan, Haideristan, Muinistan and Maplistan, 
Safiistan and Nasaristan) is met simultaneously by the sup- 
porters of the Sikhs, i.e. the British and the Hindus who, by holding 
out a threat of Sikh claim, have throughout the past eighty-five 
years tried 'to stifle our aspirations/ 8 

(iii) Acquire proportional territory to create Siddiqistan, Faru- 
qistan, Haideristan, Muinistan, Maplistan, Safiistan and Nasa- 
ristan. This commandment means 'that we should acquire our 
.share of the territories of the continent of Dinia and its dependen- 
cies and convert it into countries for our nation . . . for instance, in 
the Hindooistan (United Provinces of Agra and Oudh) our mino- 
lity forms about 15 per cent of the population and we are therefore 
entitled to 15 per cent of her area. That is about 17,000 square 
miles, which we must acquire and convert into Haideristan.. . .In 
the same way the proportional area for our minorities in the 
Central Provinces, Bundelkhand and Malwa, Behar and Orissa, 
Rajistan, the Bombay Presidency and South India, Western Ceylon 
and Eastern Ceylon must be claimed and converted into our new 
national countries of Siddiqistan, Faruqistan, Muinistan, Map- 
listan, Safiistan and Nasaristan respectively/ 9 

(iv) Consolidate the individual nations. The commandment 
means 'that as it is dangerous to leave dispersed our minorities in 
the Hindu majority regions of Dinia and in Ceylon, we must unify 
and consolidate them as Nations in the countries that will comprise 
the proportional areas acquired under the previous command- 
ment/ 10 

8. Rahmat All: "The Millat and the Mission," pp. 12-13. 9. ibid., pp. 13-14. 10. ibid., p. 16. 


(v) Co-ordinate the nations under a Pak Commonwealth of Nations. 
This commandment means 'Uiat we must bring together in an 
international organisation at* least our ten countries', viz. the 
-istans which the author has visualized as constituting Dinia. 

(vi) Convert the sub-continent of India into Dinia. This command- 
ment means 'that we must "Liberate the soul and soil" of 
"India" from the domination of "Indianism" into the domain of 
"Dinianism" and thereby restore her to her original and rightful 
position in the world. So we must redeclicate ourselves to our age- 
old ideal, and as a token of rededication, concentrate on three 
fundamentals. First we must write "finis'' to the most deceptive 
fiction in the world that "India" is the sphere of "Indianism", 
second, we must record the most significant truth in the world, 
that "India" is the domain of "Dinianism". And, third, we must 
proclaim the most solid fact to the world that the sub-continent of 
India is the continent of "Dinia"/ 11 

(vii) Organize the continent of Dinia and its Dependencies into the 
orbit of fakasia. 

Mr Chaudhry Rahmat AH would not only create the three 
independent states of Pakistan, Bangistan, and Usmanistan but 
would also have seven Muslim Nations settled in the Hindu region 
in their own territory which would be proportionate to their popu- 
lation and all these would constitute the Pak Commonwealth. Even 
the name of India should disappear and the sub-continent should 
be converted into a continent called 'Dinia' which comprises the 
same letters as 'India' and the Pak Commonwealth will then come 
into the orbit of Pakasia. 

Mr Rahmat AH being the originator of the idea of Pakistan 
and its name and having been first to put forward the claim for 
independent Muslin! states as a protest against the betrayal by the 
Muslim delegates to the Round Table Conference of the cause of 
the MiJlat by accepting a Federal Constitution, he claims that the 
Muslim League has been partly converted to his views. Who knows 
that in course of time the other parts of his scheme already publish- 
ed and yet to be published will also be not accepted by the League 
and thus Indians must be prepared to look forward for the clay 
when the very name India will have disappeared and, the Millat 
being. established all over, the continent will 
name of Dinia. 

11. Rahmat All, op. cit, p. 18. 


Dr S. A. Latif is the author of another scheme which he has 
elaborated in his book The Muslim Problem in India. It is not a sepa- 
ratist move involving endless complications but claims to be a 
scheme for unification of India on natural lines and is, therefore, 
entirely Indian in outlook. It seeks to have a federation of cultu- 
rally homogeneous states for India to form a nation of at least the 
type of Canada where two different races work together for a com- 
mon country, while living in separate zones of their own. It claims 
to be a scheme for unity and not for disruption/ 

According to this scheme, 'India may be divided into four 
cultural zones for the Muslims where homogeneity may be intro- 
duced, and at least eleven for the Hindus. The Indian states inter- 
spersed all over tbe country may be distributed between the dif- 
ferent zones in accordance with their natural affinities. Efich such 
zone will form a homogeneous state with a highly decentralized 
form of Government within, wherever more than a unit should 
compose the zone, but fitting along with similar states into an all- 
India Federation/* 

Muslim Cultural Zones: 

(i) North-West Block consisting of Sind, Baluchistan, the Pun- 
jab, N.-W.F. Province and the Indian States of Khairpur and 
Bahawalpur converted into a single autonomous state on the basis 
of federal relationship between the six units, thereby allowing over 
25 millions of Muslims a free home of their own. 

(ii) North-East Block comprising Eastern Bengal which will 
include Calcutta and Assam of over 30 million Muslims who may 
be assigned a free political existence. 

(iii) Delhi-Lucknow Block. In between the two above-mentioned 
blocks the Muslims are unevenly distributed. Those of this 
aiea living close to each of the two blocks should be attracted 
for naturalization to the one nearer to them. The rest, the great 
bulk, belonging at present to the United Provinces and Bihar num- 
bering about 12 millions may be concentrated in a block extending 
in a line from the eastern border of Patiala to Lucknow rounding 
up Rampur and including Agra, Delhi, Cawnpore and Lucknow 
but leaving out great Hindu religious centres like Benares, Har- 
dwar, Allahabad and Muttra. 

(iv) The Deccan Block comprising Hyderabad, Berar and a 
strip of territory restored in the south running through t,he districts 
of Kurnool, Cucldappah, Chittoor, North Arcot and Chinglepul 

1. S. A, Latif: "Muslim Problem in India," pp. 28-38. 2. ibid., p. 30. 


down to the city of Madras providing an opening to the sea. The 
Muslims of the Peninsula the Central Province, the whole of the 
Bombay and Madras Presidencies, Mysore, Cochin and Travancore 
will be gathered in this block. The surplus population of Muslims 
from the North-East and Delhi-Lucknow blocks may also be settled 
in this. Besides the above four blocks the Muslims living in Raj- 
putana, Gujerat, Malwa and Western India States will need to be 
concentrated in the territories of the Muslim States of Bhopal, 
Tonk, Junagadh, Jaora and others and in the nearby constituted 
free city of Ajmer, on the basis of the exchange of population. 

Hindu Cultural Zones: 

(i) Portions of Bengal extended into a part of Bihar which has 
affinity with Bengal will form a zone for the Bengali Hindus. 

(ii) Orissa comprising all Oriya-speaking people. 

(iii) West Bihar and U.P. up to the line of Lucknow-Delhi 
Block extending from the Himalayas down to the Vindhyas and 
including some of the Central India States. This will be Hindustan 
proper with a rejuvenated Hindi probably supplying a fresh inspi- 

(iv) The Rajput States of Raj putana. 

(v) Gujerat with the Hindu Kathiawar principalities where 
Gujerati culture may pursue its own life. 

(vi) Mahrattas. 

The Dravidian group of cultures, viz. (vii) the Canarese, (viii) the 
Andhra, (ix) the Tamilian, and (x) the Malayali, will have their 
separate existence. 

(xi) A Hindu-Sikh Block including a portion of Kashmir in 
the North- West Muslim Block. The Districts of Kashmir with pre- 
dominant Muslim population may by mutual agreement be trans- 
ferred to the Punjab proper and in return a portion of the North- 
East of the present Punjab comprising the Kangra Valley be added 
to the jurisdiction of the Maharajah. The Hindus of Sind may be 
assigned to the adjoining Hindu zones of Gujerat and Rajputaua. 
The Hindu-Sikh zone will be composed of all the non-Muslim 
states at present under the Punjab States Agency and part of the 
Hindu state of Kashmir. 

The demarcation indicated in the book is merely suggestive 
in character and may be properly determined by a Royal Commis- 
sion appointed for the purpose. 

The scheme contemplates that the Hindus and Muslims' living 
in Muslim and Hindu zones respectively should be transferred to 
the nearest Hindu or Muslim zones and thus comparatively homo- 
geneous zones should be created. Harijans should be left to choose 
the Hindu or Muslim zones and form their permanent homelands. 
The transference and exchange of populations should be carried 


out gradually in the course of some years and may start on a volun- 
tary basis as an experimental measure. 

The Constitution should have the following provisions: 

(i) Public Law of Indian Nations: Individuals belonging to one 
or other of the several nationalities may for special purpose live in 
zones to which they do not culturally belong. They should be 
afforded security of person and rights of citizenship. 

(ii) Religious Shrines, etc.: Religious Shrines, monuments, 
graveyards should be preserved and looked after by each federal 
state under the supervision of the Central Government. 

(iii) Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, etc.: The smaller nationalities 
will be afforded by each State all the necessary religious and 
cultural safeguards which might be needed to preserve their indi- 
Aiduality. They will have the right at the san^e time to ask for 
cantonal life, if they so desire at any time. 

(iv) Harijans: They should be given perfect liberty to choose 
the Hindu or Muslim zones to form their permanent homelands 
where they will enjoy the fullest rights of citizenship. 

The author has prepared a constitution which may replace the 
Act of 1935. 

It gives to every provincial federal unit as full autonomy as 
possible and safeguards the right of the Indian States and their 
rulers by reducing the federal list of subjects to a bare minimum. 

It provides for zonal or regional Boards for contiguous federal 
units possessing common affinities to evolve common policies in 
respect of subjects of cultural and economic importance common 
to them, leaving the individual units to legislate in the light of the 
policies so evolved. 

It gives to every provincial unit and the Centre a composite, 
stable executive with an agreed policy instead of a parliamentary 
executive in the English sense. 

It also provides a machinery whereby cultural and economic 
security may be afforded to the Muslim and other minorities at the 
Centre as well as in the federal units, 

It is a scheme for a federation of India composed of units with 
as much autonomy as possible except in matters which are abso- 
lutely common to all, such as defence, foreign affairs, commerce, 
communications and the like, and provides that residuary powers 
should rest in the units. 

Several cultures subsist in India and each should have freedom 
to develop and grow. Each should have the necessary sense of 
security so as to make it a willing and contented unit of the federa- 
tion. A contingency in which legislation bearing on a cultural 
subject has to be passed by the Centre should be avoided. 


With full autonomy conceded to federal units and elimination 
in consequence of the concurrent list, the need of a co-ordinating 
agency will be felt in the zones; and the Zonal Boards are suggest- 
ed to enable such groups to evolve common policies on common 
problems, leaving the individual federal units, whether Indian 
States or provinces, to legislate in the light of the common policies 
so evolved. The formation of such Boards will dispense with the 
need of constituting such groups into sub-federations, which will 
simply multiply administrative and legislative paraphernalia, 

As a safeguard against possible tyranny of a communal majo- 
rity, the proposal provides for a stable, though composite, executive, 
comprising members from all groups and parties. Its policy would 
be the result of a compromise between different points of view 
arrived at by mutual agreement at a conference of representatives 
of political organisations of the different communities on an all- 
India basis. Yet the executive will not constitute a 'coalition' 
Government which is always unstable, but a composite stable Go- 
vernment such as exists in America. It is suggested as a basis for 
discussion that the Prime Minister in each Province should be 
elected by the entire legislature to function during the lifetime of 
the legislature. He should be free to select his own colleagues on 
the executive in tennis of the ratio to be fixed on an all-India basis 
by agreement between the communities concerned. The executive 
so selected by the elected Premier will not be removable by an 
adverse vote of the legislature. 


The following safeguards for Muslims should be incorporated 
in the constitution: 

A. Representation in Legislature: (i) Separate electorates as 
well as existing proportion of Muslims in several provinces should 
be maintained. 

(ii) The Indian slates should return to the Central legislature 
a sufficient quota of Muslims, at least one-third of the seats at the 

(iii) Muslims should be allowed adequate and effective repre- 
sentation on the Zonal or Regional Boards commensurate with 
their total strength in, the legislatures of the units composing the 

B. Legislation: All subjects touching their religion, personal 
law and culture will be the concern of the Muslim members of the 
legislature concerned, constituted into a special committee for the 
purpose, and strengthened by the co-option of, not more than a 
third of their number, representative Muslims learned in Muslim 
law and religion. The decision of this committee should be accept- 
ed by the legislature. Should such decision affect the interests of 
other communities, they might be reviewed by the legislature as a 


whole, but no amendments affecting their basis should be permis- 

C. Executive: The Executive Should be a composite executive 
representing Hindus and Muslims with an agreed policy acceptable 
to both and not liable to be turned out by the legislature, but inde- 
pendent of it as in the U.S.A. and to remain in office during the life 
of the legislature, the Prime Minister being elected by the entire 
legislature instead of by the people as in America. He will choose 
his colleagues or Ministers from the members of all groups in the 
legislature, an equitable number of whom should be Muslims enjoy- 
ing the confidence of the Muslim members of the legislature and 
should be selected from a panel suggested by them. For portfolios 
regarding law and order and education, a Minister and an Assistant 
Minister should be appointed, one of whom should be a Muslim. 

D. Public Service Commission: One at least of the members 
of the Commission in Provinces where Muslims are in a minority 
should be a Muslim, part of whose duty shall be to see that the ratio 
fixed for the Muslims in public services is properly adhered to. 

E. Judiciary: The personal law of the Muslims should be admi- 
nistered by Muslim judges. * 

F. Muslim Board of Education and Economic Uplift: It should be 
provided to control and supervise the cultural side of education of 
Muslims and their technical and industrial training and to devise 
measures of economic and social uplift. 

G. Special Taxation: If for any special object Muslims are 
\\illing to tax themselves, the necessary legislation should be 

During the transitional period migrations should be on a volun- 
tary basis. For this legislation should be passed for each region 
and a Royal Commission should be appointed to lay down a suitable 
programme of gradual exchange of populations. The transitional 
constitution should be such as to fit into the conception of the ulti- 
mate federation outlined. This will necessitate creation, of certain 
new r Provinces on cultural and linguistic lines without involving 
immediate exchange of population. The new Provinces may be 
constituted even piecemeal but one should be immediately carved 
out of the present U.P. which will be the permanent honie for all 
Muslims living at present in the U.P. and Bihar. This newly 
created Province should have a Muslim Prime Minister to direct its 
policy to become a Muslim zone. 

The Latif scheme suffers from two very serious defects. It 
requires very extensive exchange of populations, sometimes cover- 
ing long distances, and not only as between one province and an- 
other of British India but also as between Provinces of British India 
and Indian States. The very tremendousness of the^expenditure 


and effort involved in such exchange makes it impracticable, even 
though it may be spread over a number of years. Uprooting of large 
sections of populations from their locality and surroundings topo- 
graphical, physical and climatic in which they have lived for gene- 
rations and planting them in unknown and strange localities will 
cause incalculable suffering to the people concerned. Migration is 
intended to be voluntary in the beginning but at a later stage it 
will have to be made compulsory. If it is voluntary it is not likely 
to be resorted to by any considerable number of either Hindus or 
Muslims who are both equally attached to their lands. If it is 
compulsory, the suffering involved will be simply unbearable. It 
will affect, as has been pointed out by 'A Punjabi' in Confederacy of 
India, nearly two-thirds of the total population of India. Exchange 
of population on such a large scale involving hundreds of millions of 
people and covering hundreds of thousands of square miles of terri- 
tory has never been heard of or attempted in history. 

Secondly, the scheme contemplates the perpetuation of the 
States more or less in their present condition as also of a federation 
under the British. It may be that the author has left the political 
question of relation between the ruler and the ruled open to be 
settled by the pegple as a whole, whether in British India or in the 
States. But in framing such a constitution it is not possible to 
leave such a fundamental question open and to concentrate on the 
communal aspect of it alone. All political parties in India have by 
their resolutions expressed their agreement about independence 
being their goal, except perhaps the Liberals who consider Domi- 
nion Status as equivalent to independence. So also is it impossible 
to allow the autocratic form of government that subsists in the 
States to continue and it must be replaced by a democratic form in 
which the utmost that the Princes can expect for themselves will 
be limited constitutional monarchy like that of England, power 
being transferred to representatives of the people. 

The author has said that the demarcation made by him is only 
suggestive and may have to be settled by a Royal Commission or 
other agreed agency. Any criticism, therefore, of the scheme will 
also be equally provisional. It may, however, be pointed out that 
the proposed Deccan Block comprising Hyderabad, Berar and a 
strip of territory restored in the South running through the Dis- 
tricts of Kurnool, Cuddappah, Chittoor and North Arcot and 
Chingleput down to the city of Madras seems to have no foundation, 
as the Muslim population in the whole of this area, even after its 
augmentation by the transfer of the entire Muslim population of 
the C.P., the Bombay and Madras Presidencies, and Mysore, 
Cochin and Travancore, will have an area allotted to it out of all 
proportion to its numbers as compared with other areas allotted to 
the non-Muslim population. It will not be a linguistic province 


but will have Marathi, Telugu, Canarese and also to some extent 
Tamil within it. If there is to be a redistribution, there is no reason 
why the portions speaking these languages in Hyderabad should 
not be taken to the portions of India where they are spoken by 
larger numbers of people. This involves a break up of the Hydera- 
bad State. If that has to be avoided it may be done without further 
complicating the problem by bringing in other areas from British 
India under it. It is a question not free from doubt whether the 
Muslims in that area with all the addition to their population that 
is contemplated by transfer from other parts will still have a 

The introduction of Zonal Boards seems to be a superfluity. 
The units are either autonomous or not. It does not improve 
matters if an additional authority in between them and the Central 
Federation is introduced. Any subject of commofl interest between 
two or more units may be dealt with by ad hoc arrangement if the 
Centre is not trusted to deal with such matters even at the request 
of the units concerned. It is unnecessary to discuss here in detail the 
other provisions regarding the constitution, as many of these provi- 
sions have to be worked out in detail. The U.S.A. or tHe Swiss 
Constitution may furnish us with models on whicfy to base a consti- 
tution for India with necessary changes and modifications to suit 
Indian conditions, if that satisfies the Muslims. But that is a sub- 
ject which may not be dealt with here and, may be, its mixing up 
with territorial re-distribution and exchange of vast populations 
will complicate its discussion on its merits. 


Another scheme is that proposed by the late Sir Sikandar 
Hayat Khan in his pamphlet Outlines of a Scheme of Indian Federation 
in which not only the British Indian Provinces but also the Indian 
States join. 

(i) For the purpose of establishing this All-India Federation 
on regional basis the country shall be demarcated into seven 
Zones : 

Zone I Assam and Bengal (minus one or two Western Districts to 

reduce the size of the Zone) ; Bengal States and Sikkim. 
II Bihar and Orissa plus the area transferred from Bengal to 


III United Provinces and U.P. States. 
IV Madras and Trawncore, Madras States and Coorg. 
V Bombay and Hyderabad; Western India States and Bombay 

States ; Mysore and C.P. States. 
VI Rajputana States (minus, Bikaner and Jaisalmel 1 ) ; Gwalior 



and Central India States ; Bihar and Orissa States ; C.P. and 
VII Punjab and Sind ; N.-W.F.P. and Kashmir ; Punjab States 

and Baluchistan ; Bikaner and Jaisalmer. 

The demarcation here suggested is only tentative and may be 
altered, if necessary. 

^ (2) There shall be a Regional Legislature for each Zone con- 
sisting of representatives of both British India and Indian States 
units included in that Zone. Every unit will send representatives in 
accordance with the share alottecl to it in the schemes embodied 
in the Government of India Act, 1935, for representation in the 
Federal Assembly. 

(3) The representatives in the various Regional Legislatures 
shall collectively constitute the Central Federal Assembly which 
will consist of 375 members (250 from British India and 125 from 
the Indian States) subject to what is stated below in paragraph 21. 

(4) One-third of the total number of representatives in the 
Federal Assembly shall be Muslims. 

(5) The other minorities shall be allotted the share appor- 
tioned to them in the Federal Assembly by the Government of 
India Act, 1935. 

(6) The Regional Legislature shall deal only with subjects in- 
cluded in the Regional list but may, at the request of two or more 
units included in the Zone, legislate with regard to subjects falling 
in the provincial list. Such enactments would, for application in 
any unit within the region, require confirmation by the Government 
of the unit concerned and shall thereafter supersede any Provincial 
or State legislation on the subject. 

^ (7) In the Regional Legislature no Bill or measure on a 
subject in the ^Regional list shall be considered to have been passed 
unless two-thirds qf the representatives vote in its favour to give 
additional security to smaller units. 

(8) The Regional Legislatures may by resolution authorize 
the Federal Legislature to undertake legislation regarding subjects 
in the Regional or Provincial list. But such authorization shall not 
be effective unless at least 4 out of the 7 Zones ask for such action. 
And unless such authorization is endorsed by all the 7 Regional 
Legislatures the enactment so passed shall have force only in the 
Zones which ask for such legislation. 

(9) Any law enacted by the Federal Legislature at the request 
of the zones and by the Regional Legislatures at the request of the 
units shall be repealed if in the case of the Federal Legislature at 
least three Zones, and in the case of Regional Legislatures at least 
half the number of units in that Zone ask for its repeal. 

(10) The Federal Executive shall consist of the Viceroy repre- 
senting the King-Emperor and a Council of Ministers not less than 


7 and not more th'an n in number including the Federal Prime 

(n) The Federal Prime Minister shall be appointed by the 
Viceroy from among the members of the Federal Legislature and 
the remaining Ministers also, from among the members of the 
Legislature in consultation with the Federal Prime Minister but 
subject to the following : 

(i) That each zone shall have at least one representative in 

the Cabinet. 

. (ii) That at least one-third of the Ministers shall be Muslims, 
(iii) That at least 2 if the number of Ministers does not exceed 
9, and at least 3 if it exceeds 9, shall be chosen from 
amongst the representatives of Indian States. 
There will be no objection to (ii) and (iii) overlapping. 
Every attempt shall be made to provide adequate represen- 
tation to other important minorities also, 
(iv) That during- the first 20 (or 15) years from the inaugura- 
tion of the Federal Scheme the Viceroy may nominate 2 
of his Ministers with the portfolios of 'Defence' and 'Ex- 
ternal Affairs', either from amongst the members of the 
Legislature or from outside. Thereafter a 1 ! the Ministers 
shall be selected from amongst the members of the Legis- 

The following tentative allocation of portfolios and designation of 
members is suggested: i. Federal Prime Minister. 2. Minister of 
Defence. 3. Minister of External Affairs; also to deal with Indian 
States. 4. Federal Finance Minister. 5. Minister of Interior 
(Home), 6. Minister of Communications. 7. Minister to look after 
Minority Interests. 8. Minister of Co-ordination to keep in touch 
with Regions and arrange co-ordination and uniformity in matters 
of common concern. 9. Minister of Commerce and Industries. 

(i2)(i) The normal term of office of Ministers shall be the 

same as the life of the Federal Legislature (i.e. 5 years), 
(ii) The Ministers will retain office at the pleasure of the Vice- 

(iii) A Minister representing a particular Zone shall be remov- 
ed if he loses the confidence of a majority of his Regional 

(iv) The Ministry as a whole except the Ministers referred to 
^ in paragraph ii (iv) shall resign if a vote of no-confidence 
* against the Ministry is carried in the Federal Legislature. 
(13) The representatives of the Regional Legislature shall be 
chosen in the following manner : 

(i) In the case of British Indian units by the provincial legis- 
lature in accordance with the procedure laid down in the 
Government of India Act, JQ35, for the election of repre- 


sentatives to the Federal Assembly. 

(ii) In the case of Indian States as nearly as may be possible 
in accordance with the procedure outlined hereunder: 

(a) During the first 10 years from the date of inaugura- 
tion of the Regional and Federal Legislatures three- 
fourths to be nominated by the Ruler and one-fourth 
to be selected by him out of a panel to be elected by 
the State Assembly or other similar institution which 
shall be set up for this purpose. 

(b) During the next 5 years two-thirds to be nominated 
by the Ruler and one-third to be elected as in (a). 

(c) After 15 years one-half to be nominated and one-half 
to be elected as in (a) above. 

(d) After 20 years and thereafter one-third to be nominat- 
ed and two-thirds to be elected as in (a) above. 

If the number of seats allotted to a State or group of States 
is less than 2, then the Ruler shall nominate for the first 
15 years and thereafter the State's representatives shall be 
* electee! as in (a) above. 

(14) There shall be a Committee of Defence to advise in 
matters relating to defence, with the Viceroy as President, and 
consisting of the Federal Prime Minister; the Ministers for De- 
fence, External Affairs, Finance and Communications; the Com- 
mander-in-Chief ; the Chief of the General Staff; a Senior Naval 
Officer; a Senior Air Force Officer; seven Regional Representa- 
tives one from each Zone; 5 official experts to be nominated by 
the Viceroy; 2 non-officials to be nominated by the Viceroy; and 
the Secretary of the Defence Department. 

(15) A Committee shall be constituted to advise on matters 
connected with External Affairs consisting of the Viceroy as Presi- 
dent, and the Federal Prime Minister, the Minister for External 
Affairs, 7 Regional representatives (one from each zone) to be 
selected by the President from amongst the members of Regional 
Legislatures, 2 officials and 2 non-officials to be nominated by the 
Viceroy, and the Secretary for External Affairs, as members. 

If in any of these committees the number of State representa- 
tives.falls short of 3, the difference shall be made up by the appoint- 
ment of additional members selected by the President from a panel 
proposed by the Chamber of Princes. 

(16) The Federal Railway authority shall be so constituted as 
to include at least one representative from each of the 7 Regional 

(17) Effective Safeguards shall be provided in the Constitu- 

(i): for the protection of the legitimate interests of the mino- 
rities ; 


(ii) to prevent racial discrimination against British-born 

(iii) against violation of treaty and other contract rights of the 

Indian States; 
(iv) to preserve the integrity and autonomy of both British 

Indian and Indian States units against interference by the 

Federal Executive or Federal or Regional Legislature; 
(v) to ensure the safety of India against foreign aggression 

and the peace and tranquillity of the units as also of the 

country as a whole; 
(vi) to prevent subversive activities by the citizens of a unit 

or a zone against another unit or zone; 
( vii) to protect the culture and religious rights of the minorities. 

(18) The composition of the Indian Arm/ (as on the ist 
January 1937) shall not be altered. In the event of reduction or 
increase in its peace-time strength, the proportion of the various 
communities as on the ist January 1937 shall not be disturbed. 
This may be relaxed in the event of war or other grave emergency 
which may arise on account of a threat to the safety of the country. 

(19) Only those subjects the retention of which is essential 
in the interests of the country as a whole and for its proper admi- 
nistration shall be allocated to the Centre, e.g. Defence, External 
Affairs, Communications, Customs, Coinage and Currency, etc. 
The remaining subjects at present included in the Federal List 
shall belong to the units or Zones. Residuary powers in regard to 
subjects which are not specifically included in the Federal List 
shall vest in the Units and in the case of subjects allocated to 
Zones, in the Regional Legislatures. 

(20) In case of doubt whether a subject is Federal, Concur- 
rent, Regional, or Provincial (or State) the decision of the Viceroy 
in his discretion shall be final. 

(21) The Federal Legislature shall be unicameral, provided 
that additional seats distributed equally among the 7 Zones may 
be given to the Federal Assembly to enable special interests which 
ate now given representation in the Upper House (the Council of 
State) to be represented in it. 

(22) Adequate and effective machinery shall be set up both at 
the Centre and in the Provinces to look after and protect the inte- 
rests of the Minorities. 

It is claimed for the scheme that instead of bringing British 
Indian Provinces and Indian States into the Federation as two 
distinct components, it provides for their entrance on a regional 
basis which will be conducive to the solidarity of the country and 
stability of the Central Government. It will for the sartie reason 
encourage collaboration between contiguous units whose geogra- 


phical proximity, common language, and affinity of economic inte- 
rest form natural ties and thus facilitate reciprocal arrangement 
among various units of a Zone about a common line of action per- 
taining to Law and Order, establishment of institutes of industrial 
and agricultural research, experimental agricultural farms, etc. 
It will permit British and States units to enter the Federation 
without doubts and misgivings both inter se and as regards inter- 
ference by the Centre in the internal affairs, as the Federal jurisdic- 
tion will be limited. It will, while giving minorities a greater sense 
of security, effectively safeguard the integrity and autonomy of 
the Units. 

On the other hand, it may be pointed out that the scheme is 
avowedly only a scheme of amendment of the Government of India 
Act, 1935, and does not aim at the independence of India. It does not 
contemplate democratic election in the Indian States at any time 
even in the future and seeks to join in the Federal as also in the 
Regional Legislatures two classes of men as members those 
coming from British India being* elected representatives of the 
people, and those coming* from the States being nominees, pure and 
simple, of the Princes or in some cases nominated out of elected 
panels. It provides for outsiders who are not elected representa- 
tives being appointed by the Viceroy as members of the Cabinet in 
charge of the two important portfolios of Defence and Foreign 
Affairs. It destroys joint responsibility of the Cabinet by making 
the individual Ministers responsible to their respective Regional 
Legislatures and by maintaining the outside members in office in 
spite of a vote of no-confidence of the Federal Legislature. It un- 
duly limits the field for the choice of ministers by requiring from 
them communal, regional and States qualifications which it may be 
difficult to reconcilp with ability and efficiency and which will also 
involve divided allegiance. Its great merit is that it does not seek 
to divjcle the country on communal lines either for political or 
cultural purposes, and regards India as one single country. 


In February 1940, the Foreign Committee of the All-India 
Muslim League had issued invitations to the authors of the various 
schemes of constitutional reform of India to meet together under 
its auspices jointly to examine the various schemes and see whether 
a consolidated scheme could not be framed. The invitees met and 
constituted themselves into a committee and prepared a scheme at 
its subsequent meetings on the basis of the resolution of the All- 
India Muslim League at its Lahore Session which had been framed 
in the light of an outline pfeced by Sir Abdullah Haroon, the 


Secretary of the Foreign Committee, in the hands of Mr M. A. 
Jinnah, the President. The Committee, however, drew up a plan 
to cover the Muslims in non-British India as well, and it is thus 
fuller than the one revealed in the Pakistan resolution. 

The Committee recommended that (i) one Muslim State can 
be formed in the North- West in which the percentage of Muslims 
will be in the vicinity of 63 and (3) the other in the North-East 
with a Muslim population of 54 per cent. 


(I) North-Western State or Zone (1931 Census) 

Total Muslim 

population population 

Punjab .. .. 2,35,80,852 , 1,33.32,460 

Sind . . . . 38,87,070^ 28,30,800 

N.-W. F. (Settled) . . "24,25,076^ 22,27,303 
N.-VV. F. Tribal area administered 

by British > . . . . 13.67,231 13,17,231 

British Baluchistan . . 4,63,508 4,05,309 

Delhi Province . . . . 6,36,246 2,06,960 

Total 3.23,60,063 (?) 2,03,20,063 

or 62.79 per cent 

(II) The North-Eastern Zone should comprise Assam, Bengal 
(excluding Bankura and Midnapore Dts.) and Purnea from Bihar. 
Total Population .. 5,70,10,940 
Muslims . . 3,08,76,4211.6. 54 per cent 

Non-Muslims . . 2,61,34,5231.0. 46 per cent 

Among the non-Muslims roughly about 85,00,000, i.e. 32 per 
cent are members of scheduled castes, about 15,00,000, i.e. 6 
per cent are Tribals, about 4 lakhs Christians and the rest caste 



(Ill), The Committee deems it a duty to point out that even 
in their own interests as of the rest of the Muslims, it would be 
desirable to ensure and perpetuate the Muslim influence wherever 
it predominates in any form in non-British India. Hence it is that 
all native states, large or small, ruled by Muslim Princes, should 
be regarded for purposes of the Muslim constitutional plan as 
sovereign Muslim States. This must be made a basic demand ... it 
would be appropriate that the League should concentrate its aim 
on the independence and integrity of an expanded dominion of the 
Nizam with an opening to the sea, as it will be a source of infinite 
strength to the Muslims in India outside the Dominion. Who 
knows that in the fulness of time the Muslims of India might find 
it to their advantage to make Hyderabad their rallying point and 


the centre of their growing strength.' 1 Thus this will be the third 
wide sphere of Muslim influence. 

The Committee also examined the possibilities of the Native 
States adjacent to the Muslim States federating with the latter for 
some common purposes. Should such arrangement be made, the 
position would be as follows : 


Population of Native States adjacent to Muslim States 
Northern Muslim Zone 

Name Total Muslim 

population population 

British Indian Provinces as shown above 3,23,60,063 2,03,20,063 
Frontier States 

*~/Dir, Swat & Chitral . . . . 9,02,075 8,52,000 

Baluchistan States 

.. .. .. 3,42,101 3.31.234 

.. .. .. 63,008 61,550 

Sind Stales 

Khairpur Mirs . . . . . . 2*27,183 1,86,577 

Punjab States 

v/Bahawalpur. .. .. .. 9,84,612 7.99,176 

~/Kapurthala . . .. .. 3,16,757 1,79,251 

Patiala .. .. .. 16,25,520 3,63,920 

Nabha ...... 2,87,574 57,393 

Fariclkot . . . . . . 1,64,364 49,912 

J ind . 3,24,676 46,002 

Malerkotla . . . . . . 83,072 31,417 

Lharu ...... 23,338 3, IK) 

Pataudi . . . . . . 18,873 3, 1 68 

Dujana . . . . . . 28,216 5,863 

Chamba . . . . . . . 1,46,870 10,839 

Mandi ...... 2,70,465 6,351 

Smket .. ..... 58,408 733 

Kalsia 59,848 21,797 

Simla Hill States . . . . 3,30,850 10,017 

Sirmur .. .. 1,48,568 7,020 

Eilaspur . . . . ... 1,00,994 1,458 

Kp^ ir <!,: u" ,, ' 36,46,243 28,17,636 
If Bikaner & Jaisalmir join then add 

Bikaner ...... 9,36,2i8 1,41,578 

Jaisalmir .. .. .. 76,255 "22,116 

4,35,26,151 2,63,30,190 
(or 69.49 P- c -) 
Excluding Bikaner and Jaisalmir . . 4,25,13,678 2,61,66,526 

(or 61.54 p.c.) 

1 "The Pakistan Issue," pp. 79-80. 


The Committee took pains to analyse the figures of the various 
communities constituting the minorities in the North-West zone 
and found that in the British Indian Provinces of the North- West 
the scheduled castes came to 14,13,532 or 4.36 per cent, the Sikhs to 
3 I >39>964 or 9.70 per cent and the caste Hindus to 70,19,278 or 21.69 
per cent. Similar figures for the Indian States are also mentioned, 
the caste Hindus being 24,94,093 or 22.33 P er cent an d the Sikhs 
10,58,142 or 10.42 per cent. (N.B. The percentage of caste Hindus 
in the states appears to be an arithmetical error and should be 24.56 
and not 22.33.) 

In the case of the Eastern Muslim Zone the following adjoin- 
ing states can be persuaded to federate: 

Population of Eastern Muslim Zone ' 

Total Muslim 

population population 

Bengal States 

Cooch Bihar & Tripura . . . . 9*73>3i6 3,12,476 

Assam States , 

Manipur & Khasi Hill . . . . 6,25,606 24,600 

British Provinces . . . . . . 5,70,16,946 3,08,76,421 

Total .. 5,86,09,868 3,12,13,497 

or 53.15 per cent 

The percentage of the communities constituting the minorities 
of the total population is as follows: 


Area Caste Scheduled Tribal Christians 

Hindus Castes 

British Bengal 29.9 13.7 1.5 

Bengal States 64.9 3.0 ' 

British Assam 36.6 21.0 8.2 2.5 

Assam States 43.7 44.9 ' 7.4 

The areas that will fall within the two Zones will be as follows: 

British India States Total 

in sq. miles in sq. miles in sq. miles 

Eastern zone 325,352 213,370 43 8 ,7 22 

North- Western zone 129,637 17,754 1 47*39 1 

Total of the two Zones 354,989 231,124 586,113 

Looked at from the point of the whole of India the position is as 

Total population of whole India . . . . 35,05,29,557 

Muslim population . . . . . . 7,76,78,245 

Muslim population within the Western & 

Eastern Zones (States included) . . 5,75/42,787 

or 74.07 per cent 


Thus the Committee gives protection to about 74.07 per cent 
of the Muslims by its proposals. 

The Lahore Resolution of the League does not look forward 
to the proposed regional states assuming immediately, as they are 
formed, powers of defence, external affairs, customs, etc. This 
argues that there should be a transitional stage during which these 
powers would be exercised by some agency common to them all. 
Such a common co-ordinating agency would be necessary even 
independently of the above consideration; for under the third 
principle of the Resolution, it will be impossible to implement 
effectively the provision of safeguards for minorities without some 
organic relationship subsisting between the States under Muslim 
influence and the States under Hindu influence. A federation is 
not to the taste of* the Muslims, because they fear that the Hindus 
will, on the strength of their majority, dominate the Musalmans. 
But since some common arrangement is essential to the fulfilment 
of the provisions of the Resolution, an agreed formula has to be 
devised whereby the Muslims shall share the control at the Centre 
on terms of perfect equality with the non-Muslims.''" 1 

It was accordingly proposed by the Committee that all the 
proposed states designated 'sovereign' shall enter into a joint pact 
to have a common agency to look after, in the name of the compo- 
nent states, the subjects of (a) External Relations, (b) Defence, 
(c) Communications, (d) Customs, (e) Safeguards for minorities 
and voluntary intermigration, etc., subject to certain provisos: 

(a) Defence Each component state shall maintain an army 
at its own expense, its strength being dependent on the 
importance of its strategic position, the Centre sharing the 
military expenditure according to the strength of the army 
maintained. In normal times the state will control its 
army but in times of w r ar full control will be assumed by 
the Central Agency ; 

(b) The Navy will be entirely under the control of the Centre. 
Except for the delegated subjects, the states shall admi- 
nister all other subjects and residuary powers shall vest 
in the individual states. Both on the Executive and other 
bodies of the common agency the Muslims shall have half 
the seats. 

The Committee which prepared the above scheme consisted of 
nine members. It \vas in circulation among them when it found a 
premature publication in the Statesman. Professor Afzal Husain 
Qadri, one of the members and author of a scheme discussed above, 
thought that it went beyond the Lahore Resolution in including 
the states within it and in suggesting the constitution of interrela- 

2, op. cit, pp. 87-8. 


lion between Muslim States and the rest of India. He was opposed 
to anything like a 'Central Machinery' or 'Centre 5 creeping into 
Muslim demands either in letter or spirit, as it would savour of All- 
India Federation or Hindu Raj. Dr Syed Abdul Latif, author of 
another scheme described above, was dissatisfied with the demar- 
cation of the North- West and North-East blocks as suggested in 
the Report. The demarcation had been made by the Punjab, Sind 
and U.P. members to whom it had been left. 'The Lahore Resolu- 
tion', wrote Dr Latif to Sir Abdullah Haroon, 'aims at homoge- 
neous and compact blocks or states with an overwhelming Muslim 
majority. But the Punjab and Aligarh members of your Committee 
through their imperialistic designs over essentially non-Muslim 
areas would like to have a larger Punjab extending even to Aligarh 
covering all the non-Muslim States from Kashmir to Jaisalmir, 
which reduces the Muslim percentage to 55. In like manner they 
would include in the North-East block, the whole of Bengal, Assam 
and a district from Bihar, which brings the percentage of Musal- 
mans down to 54. r In my humble opinion this kind of demarcation 
is against the spirit and aim of the Lahore Resolution; because with 
46 per cent non-Muslims in the North-East block and 42 per cent 
in the North- West block you cannot call your* states as Muslim 
states in any sense of the term nor style them as Muslim zones/ 3 

Mr Jinnah refused to recognize the Committee or its sugges- 
tions and proposals except as suggestions from individuals or 

There are some other schemes one given by Sir Feroz Khan 
Noon in a speech at Aligarh in 1942 and another by Mr Rizwanul- 
lah, but I have not seen them and they are not given here. 


All these schemes have been worked out and published since 
1939 some before the Lahore Session of the Muslim League, 
others thereafter. It is generally said that it was the late Sir 
Muhammad Iqbal who firsjjt put forward the demand for a separate 
and independent Muslim State in his Presidential address at the 
Allahabad Session of the All-India Muslim League in December 
1930. It is therefore desirable to quote some passages from it: 
The religious ideal of Islam, therefore, is organically related to 
the social order which it has created. The rejection of the one will 
eventually involve the rejection of the other. Therefore the con- 
struction of a polity on national lines, if it means a displacement of 
the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Mus- 
lim The unity of an Indian Nation, therefore, must* be 

3. op. cit., pp. 98-9. 


not in the negation, but in the mutual harmony and co-operation 

of the many And it is on the discovery of unity in this direction 

that the fate of India as well as Asia really depends 

'It is, however, painful to observe that our attempts to discover 
such a principle of internal harmony have so far failed. Why have 
they failed? Perhaps, we suspect each other's intentions and in- 
wardly aim at dominating each other. Perhaps, in the higher 
interests of mutual co-operation we cannot afford to part with the 
monopolies which circumstances have placed in our hands, and 
conceal our egoism under the cloak of nationalism, outwardly 
simulating a large-hearted patriotism, but inwardly as narrow- 
minded as a caste or tribe. Perhaps, we are unwilling to recognise 
each group has a right to free development according to its own 
cultural traditions. But whatever may be the cause of our failure, 
I still feel hopeful.' Events seem to be tending in the direction of 
some sort of internal harmony. And as far as I have been able to 
read the Muslim mind, I have no hesitation in declaring that, if the 
principle that the Indian Muslim is entitled to full and free develop- 
ment on the lines of his own culture and tradition in his own home- 
lands is recognised as the basis of a permanent communal settle- 
ment, he will be ready to stake his all for the freedom of India. 
The principle that each group is entitled to free development on 
its own lines is not inspired by any feeling of narrow commttnalism. 
... I entertain the highest respect for the customs, laws, religious 
and social institutions of other communities. Nay, it is my duty, 
according to the teaching of the Quran, even to defend their places 
of worship if need be. . . . 

'The units of Indian society are not territorial as in European 
countries . . . The principle of European democracy cannot be 
applied to India without recognising the fact of communal groups. 
The Muslim demand 1 for the creation of a Muslim India within 
India is, therefore, perfectly justified ... I would like to see the 
Punjab, 'North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan 
amalgamated into a single state.. . .The exclusion of Ambala Divi- 
sion and perhaps of some districts where non-Muslims predominate 
will make it less extensive and more Muslim in population. . .Thus, 
possessing full opportunity of development within the body politic 
of India* the North- West Indian Muslims will prove the best de- 
fenders of India against a foreign invasion, be that invasion one 
of ideas or of bayonets To my mind a unitary form of Govern- 
ment is simply unthinkable in self-governing India. What are 
called residuary powers must be left entirely to self-governing 
states, the Central Federal State exercising only those powers 
which are expressly vested in it by the free consent of federal 
states/ 1 

1. Reproduced in F. K. Khan Durrani : '/ The Meaning of Pakistan," pp. 205-213. 


0^r c <* *c'<- 

Thus in the scheme adumbrated,by Sir Muhammad Iqbal there 
is no independent Muslim State without a Central Indian authority 
of any kind contemplated. He evidently wants a Federation in 
\\hich the Units will be autonomous and suggests a new demarca- 
tion of boundaries of the Provinces in the North-West so as to 
create a Unit in which the proportion of Muslims will be greater 
and the area more manageable. His sentiment regarding the 
defence of India is in keeping with his views expressed previously 
in 1926 to a representative of the Nation wherein he had said: 
'There are some timid Hindus who suspect that Muslims will play 
false to their country in case of Afghan invasion. If the people 
of India are united and trust one another, all will defend their 
country against any invader, Muslim or non-Muslim. I will cer- 
tainly defend my home against any political adventurer, who aimed 
at the destruction of my home and liberty. There is no fear of 
Jehad, for Jehads are nearly always a screen for political ambition. 
The solution of all our difficulties is growth of collective conscious- 
ness. A national pact concluded in the spirit of give and take will 
I think accelerate fhe process of this healthy growth.' 2 

Till after the Round Table Conferences the f Muslims of India 
were content to demand safeguards for the protection of their 
rights as a minority. How the idea of separation has grown is 
described by Dr Shaukatullah Ansari in his book Pakistan The 
Problem of India, and I cannot do better than quote him at length: 

'In 1930-31 the Reforms were on the anvil and at the First and 
Second Round Table Conference the Muslims appeared committed 
to the establishment of an Indian Federation. J. Coalman, C.I.E., 
writing in 1932 at the time of the Third Round Table Conference, 
said: "The creation of a strong', united India, including the whole 
of British India and Indian States and the borderland in the North- 
West, whose inclusion in India is one of the first and most funda- 
mental conditions of her nationhood, is day by day, being made 
impossible, and in its place it seems that there may be brought into 
being a powerful Muhammedan state in the north and west, with 
its eyes definitely turned away from India, towards the rest of the 
Moslem world of which it forms the fringe, whilst away to the 
south and east there will be what? A Hindu India, homogeneous 
and united? Perhaps! or a vast area divided between warring 
Princes and the fighting races of old Hindustan as it has been in 
the past, and may easily be so again in the future? Very likely. . ." 

'The seed found a fertile soil in the minds of some young 
Muslims who were opposed to the All-India Federation and believ- 
ed that the safeguards which were being provided in the Constitu- 
tion were useless, and "our brave but voiceless nation is being 

2. "The Searchlight," 30th April 1926. ' 


crucified on the altar of Hindu nationalism/* In 1933 for the first 
time the Muslims, hitherto called a minority community, were 
called "a nation" by a Punjabi Muslim, Chaudhry Rahmat Ali 
(an undergraduate of Cambridge) who gave the movement a shape 
and a form. He propounded the idea that the Punjab, N.-W.F.P. 
(Afghan Province), Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan should be 
formed into a separate Muslim state called Pakistan. This proposal 
was different from that of Dr Iqbal in that while Dr Iqbal proposed 
the amalgamation of those provinces into a single state forming a 
unit of the All-India Federation Chaudhry Rahmat Ali proposed 
that these provinces should have an independent federation of their 
own. Leaflets advocating Pakistan were distributed by Chaudhry 
Rahmat Ali to the Members of Parliament and the Members of the 
Round Table Conference, but no Indian, Hindu or Muslim, took 
any interest in them. Muslim witnesses described the Pakistan 
scheme in August 1933, to the Joint Parliamentary Select Com- 
mittee as follows: 

A. Yusuf Ali: "As far as I know it is only a student scheme; 
no responsible people have put it forward/' 

Ch.* Zafrullah Khan: "So far as we have considered it, we 
have considered it chimerical and impracticable/' 

Dr Khalifa Suja-ud-Din: "Perhaps it will be enough to say 
that no such scheme has been considered by any represen- 
tative gentleman or association so far. 1 ' 

'It is significant that questions about Pakistan were asked at 
this Conference. It is still more significant that the initiative came 
from the British they seem, from the record, to have pressed their 
questions while the Indian (Muslim) delegates seem uninterested 
and anxious to pass on to the next point.. . .Although in India no 
one had heard of or talked of Pakistan and the Muslim Delegation 
showed no interest in it, yet the Diehard Press and the Churchill- 
Lloyd group of the Conservative Party waxed eloquent over it and 
saw in it a suggestion of the gravest import with the result that 
questions were asked in the Houses of Parliament on several occa- 
sions/ 8 

Whatever the origin and whatever the auspices under which 
the idea of separation has grown, there is no doubt that, in the 
words of Dr Ansari, the seed has found a fertile soil and has forced 
attention to be bestowed on it. 

3. Shaukatullah Ansari : " Pakistan-The Problem of India," pp. 4-7. 





The All-India Muslim League at its Lahore Session in March 
1940 passed the following resolution: 

(1) While approving and endorsing the action taken by the 
Council and the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim 
League, as indicated in theii; resolutions dated the 7th of August, 
I7th and i8th of September and 22nd of October, 1939, and 3rd 
of February 1940 on the constitutional issue, this Session of the 
All-India Muslim League emphatically reiterates that the scheme 
of federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935, is 
totally unsuited'to, and unworkable in the peculiar conditions of 
this country and is altogether unacceptable to Muslim India. 

(2) It further records its emphatic view that while the decla- 
ration dated the i8th of October 1939, made by the Viceroy on 
behalf of His Majesty's Government is reassuring in so far as it 
declares that the policy and plan on which the Government of 
India Act, 1935, is based will be reconsidered in consultation with 
the various parties, interests and communities in India, Muslim 
India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is 
reconsidered dejwvo and that no revised plan would be accept- 
able to the Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and 

(3) Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of 
the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would 
be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is 
designed on the following basic principle, viz. that geographically 
contiguous units arf demarcated into regions which should be so 
constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be neces- 
sary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a 
majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India 
should be grouped to constitute 'Independent States' in which 
the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. 

(4) That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards 
should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities 
in these units and in these regions for the protection of their reli- 
gious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other 
rights and interests in consultation with them; and in othenparts 
of India where the Musalmans are in a minority, adequate, effec- 
tive and mandatory safeguards shall be specially 1 provided in the 
constitution for them and other minorities for the protection of 

1. 'Specially* is taken from the resolution as published in "India's Problem of Her Future 
Constitution," p.* 17. In "Muslim India" by Mr M. Noman the word used is 'specifically', 
p. 404, as also in Dr Ambedkar's "Pakistan or rtie Partition of India/' p. 4. 


their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and 
other rights and interests in consultation with them, 

This Session further authorizes the Working Committee to 
frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with these basic 
principles, providing for the assumption finally by the respective 
regions of all powers such as defence, external affairs, communi- 
cations, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary. 

It appears from the resolution that it deals wit*h the scheme of 
tederation embodied in the Government of India Act, 1935, which 
it considers totally unsuited to, and unworkable in the peculiar 
conditions of this country and hence altogether unacceptable to 
Muslim India. After recording" its emphatic view that the Muslims 
of India will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is 
reconsidered de novo and that no revised plan would be acceptable 
to the Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and consent, 
it proceeds to lay down the basic principle on which any plan to 
be workable and acceptable to the Muslims should be based. That 
basic principle is that geographically. contiguous units are demar- 
cated into regions which should be so constituted with such terri- 
torial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which 
the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western 
and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute Inde- 
pendent States' in which the constituent units shall be autonomous 
and sovereign. The resolution then proceeds* to lay down that 
adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically 
provided in the constitution for minorities in the regions for the 
protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, admi- 
nistrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them 
and similar safeguards are to be provided for the protection of 
Musalmans and other minorities in other parts of India where the 
Musalmans are in a minority. The League authorized its Work- 
jng Committee to frame a scheme of constitution in accordance 
with these principles providing for the assumption finally by the 
respective regions of all powers such as defence, external affairs, 
communications, customs, and such other matters as may be neces- 

No scheme prepared by the Working Committee of the League 
and authorized by the Resolution has yet been published, even if it 
has been framed. M^iM^A^JIiinah, the President of the Muslim 
League, declared at Madras as follows: 

'Let me tell you as clearly us I can possibly do so that the 1 
goal of the All-India Muslim League is that jvejvaut,lfi^gstabl|h 
a.s^mpJ.^lijndepenjdent state .in. the North-West and . Eastero 
Zones of Jtidk xdiLia!^ of faknce^_!^gncy^x-. 

change, etc. We do not want uncler any circumstanced a constitu- 


at the Centre/ 

When invited to elaborate the scheme and furnish details as 
regards the territories to be included in the Regions and other 
matters he has refused to do so, insisting that the principle should 
be first accepted and tfien and only then will he be prepared to work 
out or disclose details. 

So late as the lj*st_w eek. of , April JQ44, during the course of 
discussions that were taking place between Mr Jinnah and Malik 
Khizir Hayat Khan, Premier of the Punjab, regarding Mr Jinnah's 
proposal to establish a Muslim League or Muslim League-Coalition 
Ministry instead of the Unionist Party Ministry in the Punjab, the 
non-Muslim ministers desired that g in order to enable all concerned 
to judge the merits of the scheme its precise political and constitu- 
tional implications [should be] fully explained, and the geogra- 
phical boundaries of the Punjab under the ..scheme of Pakistan as 
well as the principles to be adopted for the fixation of such bounda- 
ries [should be] indicated as clearly as possible' on which the 
comment of Mr Jinnah was that it was 'onfall-. India question and 
irrelevant for the present purpose of forming the proposed coali- 
tion/ 2 

It is difficult *to understand this reluctance on the part of the 
President oTThe League tQ^dieclosc the scheme in its entirety, if 
there is a scheme ready, [it would be unreasonable to suppose that 
a responsible body claiming to represent the Muslim Community 
of India would propound a theory and propose a scheme for the 
partition of the country without fully working out the implications! 
of the former and the details of the latter. On the other hand one 
would naturally expect that if the League desires its scheme to be 
considered and adopted on its merits, it should be willing, if not 
anxious, to furnish such elucidation as may be desired by others 
for its discussion and acceptance with intelligence and understand- 
ing. Nor are the information and elaboration demanded by others 
in respett of mere details but are of a fundamental nature whose 
knowledge is essential for a fair consideration of TO 

For example, it is necessary to know which STt!as, according to 
the Resolution, will fall in Pakistan, and which areas will constitute 
the Hindustan of the League conception. Similarly it is essential 
to know what the size of the non-Muslim minority in Pakistan and 
of the Muslim minority in tlincTustan win be and what the safe- 
guards and guarantees are that the League considers sufficient for 
the protection of the non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan and what 
safeguards and guarantees it would insist upon for Muslim 
minorities in Hindustan. It is not enough for the League to 
say that it will vouchsafe the same safeguards to non-Muslim 
minorities that Hindustan will guarantee to the Muslim minorities. 

2. Statemenl of non-Muslim Ministers, Did, 1-5-44 published in "The A. B. Patrika," 3-5-44. 


No other group has put forward any scheme of partition 
and claimed or proposed to guarantee minority rights from or 
to others. It is, therefore, up to the League to formulate its own 
proposals for the consideration of others no less than of Muslims 

Again, any scheme of reciprocity may prove unworkable on 
account of the size of the minority in the one part or the other. 
For example, if the minority happens to be something between 40 
and 50 per cent of the total population in one part and only about 
jo per cent or so in the other part, it is obvious that a large minority 
of 40 to 45 per cent will be in a very much better position than a 
minority of say 10 per cent or thereabouts to enforce and implement 
the guarantee by its own inherent strength. It may also be that 
reciprocity may not be acceptable when what one may offer may 
prove of so little value to the other that it is no 'inducement. 

The matter may be put in a concrete form. Suppose the Hindus 
of North- Western and Eastern Zones, and particularly of the 
Punjab and Benga], say that although they are in a minority in their 
Provinces they do not want any concession or weightage in repre- 
sentation in the Legislature or in public services for themselves, 
that they are content if they get representation according to their 
proportion in the population and that such weightage as may be 
demanded by or conceded to other minorities like the Christians 
should be given by the majority community out of its own share; 
suppose further that they say that because they do not demand any 
concession or weightage for themselves, no concession or weightage 
should be given to the Muslims in the Provinces where they are in 
a minority and that the Hindu majority in those Provinces should 
give such concession or weightage as may be required to other 
minorities like the Christians. The matter might be put in another 
way by the Hindus of Provinces in which they are in a majority. 
Suppose they say that they are not prepared to concede any weight- 
age to the Muslim minority in their Provinces and jthat the 
Muslims of the Provinces in which they are in a majority need not 
give any \\eightage to the Hindu minority in their Provinces. Let 
us also that in both the above cases the Hindus all over 
the country whether they are in a minority or majority adopted this 
attitude, the position would be on a basis of perfect and Complete 
reciprocity and no objection could be taken to it on that ground. 
There is no reason why the Hindus may not adopt this attitude. 
Jn Bengal the Hindus would stand to gain. In place of 32 per cent 
of the seats in the Legislature as given by the Act of 1935, they will 
get 44 per cent. In the Punjab also their position will nnprove to 
a small extent. In services instead of 50 per cent given to them 
they would get about 44 per cent in Bengal and their position in the 
Punjab will remain more or less unaffected. The Hindus of the 


North- West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan will stand to 
lose to an appreciable extent but their total population is only 14.50 
lakhs and the total number of seats in the Legislatures and posts 
in services that they will lose will be negligible. Let us see what the 
Muslims of a single Province like Bihar will stand to lose as against 
this. Their representation in the Legislature and in services will 
have to be reduced from 25 per cent to 12 per cent and the number 
of seats and posts they will lose in one Province will be considerable 
more than all the seats and posts that the Hindus will lose in both 
the Muslim zones put together. The number of Muslims affected 
by this cut in one single Province will be 47 lakhs against 14.50 
lakhs of Hindus affected in the North-Western Zone. The position 
of Muslims in regard to the rest of the Hindu zone can easily be 
imagined. Reciprocity thus will have no attraction for the Hindus 
and will not induce them to offer any concession or weightage to 
the Muslims. 

Again, each party should be made clearly to understand what 
sanction will be constituted to enforce the guarantee. 1 have indi- 
cated only some of the points amongst many with which the whole 
scheme 6ristles, that require elucidation and elaboration, for* a fair 
and reasonable discussion and understanding acceptance of it. 

The two nations theory also has its implications which have 
to be understoocTTTFappears that the protagonists of Pakistan base 
themselves on the religion of Islam and the social and political 
system which may be derived from it, for treating the Muslims as 
a separate nation. Other attributes which are generally supposed 
to attach to a nation do not apply to Muslims alone as such, and are 
shared in common by Muslims and non-Muslims of particular areas 
of India. Thus in the matter of language the Punjabi Hindu, the 
Punjabi Muslim and the Punjabi Sikh speak the same language 
irrespective of their* religions. So do all the Pathans, whether 
Muslims or Hindus, of the N.-W.F.P. speak Pushto alike. And so 
do all Uengalis whether Hindu or Muslim speak the same 
language, Bengali, fn all these areas they occupy the same land. 
Jn all these places they have lived under the same Ciovernment with 
the rest of British India during the British period for over one 
hundred years at least even if we leave out the long period of 
Muslim rule. 

Religion being put forward as practically the sole criterion, it 
is well worth remembering that people agreeing with one another 
in many if not most other things that matter but differing in reli- 
gion, inhabit this country from one end to the other. It is reported 
that commenting on this aspect of the question Mr Edward Thomp- 
son put it to Mr Jinnah that it would imply two - ipItOT^ronfrpnting i 
each other iif^^y^rv^^Jlc^g and in every strict, and that it was a 
terrible prospect to contemplate, Mr Jinnah is said to have replied 


that it was a terrible prospect but there was no^alternative. 8 Mr 
Jinnah has recently in a press statement contradicted 'That he ever 
gave a Press interview to Mr Thompson or that he said the words 
attributed to him. But whether he said what is attributed to him 
to Mr Thompson in a Press interview or otherwise or at all is beside 
the point and cannot alter the fact that the only result that can 
follow from a two natious.theory pnjhe, basis . of ^Cfiligion is the 
emergence and establishment of two nations in^every village and 
every street of India. If a Muslim in any part oFTndia by reason 
of his religion alone belongs to a nation comprising all Muslims in 
any and every other corner of India and separate from all non- 
Muslims including those adjacent to him, then the question 
naturally arises to what state does the Muslim owe allegiance? 
To the state within which he lives and moves and which may not 
be a Muslim state not falling within Pakistan or to a distant 
Muslim state with which he may have no connexion except thai a 
majority of people living in it follow the same religion as he does? 
The same question will arise in regard to a non-Muslim living in a 
Muslim state, unless it is postulated that whereas the Muslims can 
and do constitute a nation, all others are formless conglomerates 
without the essential attribute of a nation aj>mgle religion. Or 
will such a Muslim or non-Muslim have a double personality and 
divided allegiance? Mow will such divided allegiance work in an 
emergency like a war? 

Another set of questions arises in regard to the status of such a 
member of a separate nation. Ordinarily a man living within the 
territory of a particular state, whatever his previous nationality 
may have been, becomes on fulfilling certain conditions a citizen of 
that state. That gives him a status, confers certain rights, and 
imposes certain responsibilities. Jf the Musliin in _ India is a mem- 
ber of the Muslim Nation by reason of his religion, irrespective of 
the fact whether the state in which he resides is a Muslim or non- 
Muslim state, then can he claim and can he in justice and fairness 
be given the status of a citizen of thatjstate when it, does not happen 
to be a Muslim state? Is he not more in the nature of an alien 
fITere, looking for protection and other advantages that citizenship 
confers, to his Muslim state which will be his national state? He 
can claim the rights and privileges, if any, of an alien. There is a 
difference which cannot be jjjurred over or ignored between aliens 
working* and carrying on business within the territory of the state 
of ntVother nation, and members of the same nation working and 
carrying 011 business within their own territory but being in a mino- 
rity as compared with other groups of the same nation. The mino- 
rity consists of members of the same nation and has rights which 

3. The conversation is reproduced in Mr Edward Thompson's "Enlist India for 
Freedom/* p. 52. 


are well recognized. AUeiis camiot Jiaye the same rights as_a 
qjinpriiy in. a nation. So MTisITms in Provinces and States where 
non-Muslims will be in a majority will not be able to claim the 
rights of a minority, if at the same time they claim to be members 
of another nation. This will be true of non-Muslims also in Mus- 
lim States, if they claim to be members of another nation. 

If the Muslim League wants Muslim States in the North-West 

and East of India for the purpose of running them according to 

, the Muslim conception of a state, the question arises what will be, 

the status of npn : Muslims in those states? Are they t6T>e treated 

as equal citizens of the state or are they to have an inferior status? 

The Muslim public law recognizes a distinction between Mus- 
lims and Zimmis. Are non-Muslims to get the status of Zimmis 
or of equal citizens as in a modern democratic state? Mr. A. S. 
Tritton of the Muslim University^ Aligarh, has written a book, 
'fh^aUphsw in which he has discussed at 

great length the position of non-Muslims in the Muslim states 
under the Caliphs. It is not possible to summarize the book here 
and I ^content myself with quoting a few sentences from the con- 
cluding chapter of the book. Mr Tritton says: 'The rule of Islam 
was often burdensome, the revolt in Egypt proved it. Umar II 
might order a governor to distribute the surplus cash in his treasury 
among the Dhimmis after the needs of the Muslims had been satis- 
fied, but as a rule they had to provide the money which the state 
wanted and got nothing for it. Probably, at first, the subjects did 
not pay heavier taxes than they had paid to the previous Govern- 
ments, but in one way and another the burden grew steadily heavier. 
There can be no doubt that, at the end of the first century, the reign 
of Umar II saw the beginning of definite disabilities for the Dhim- 
mis. Restrictions were placed on their dress, and the attempt to 
Olist, them from official posts began. . .during the second century 
the Muslim spirit hardened . . the laws about dress were made more 
Stringent, and the idea took shape that churches might not be built. 
I. . .It is_ onlyjairjo say jthat the. conduct .of the.xulers was often 
better than ttielaw clHmaaded.. . . On paper, many things were for- 
^idden them [Dhimmis], the public celebration of wedding? and 
(funeral s^ feasts, and church cefeinonlpj, ft was a punishable 
offence to tread intentionally on the skirt of a Muslim's garment 
and they had to leayejthe .centre :^ the_)rQad,jU)ahe Muslims. . . 

'Mutasim bought The monastery of Samarra that stood 
where he wanted to build a palace. Other Caliphs, destroy^ 
churches tp i obtain . niivtcricilg. ^f or their buT^fJugrs^lJTid the mob was 
always ready to pillage churches and monasteries. They. Dhimmis, 

, * - _^ --p.i.ntmiiiniMui.-Tr* rii r -*'*- " "* g ~n f*^,^^.^..-, *w*Jk.* *"*tV- H *P# " ~~~^ "*"" ** ' ^~ 

iii^t enjoy great J^ospent}%jr^ n veclpn sufferance, 

exposed to the caprice* bFThe ruTer and the pji&^ms^Jjtk^JIlob. 
The episode of Al Hakim must be regarded as the freak of a mad- 


man, and nut typical of Islam. JJut in later times the position of 
the Dhimmis did change for the worse. They were much liable to 
suffer from the violence of the crowd, and the popular fanaticism 
was accompanied by an increasing strictness among the educated. 
The spiritual isolation of Islam was accomplished. Th<* world 
was divided into two classes, Muslims and others, and .only Islam 
counted. There were brilliant exceptions, but the general state- 
ment is true. If a Muslim gave any .help to the religion of a 
Dhimmjj he was summoned thrice to repentance, and then, if obdu- 
rate, Tie was to be put to death. Indeed, the general feeling was 
that the leavings of the Muslims were good enough for the 
Dhimmis/ 4 

It has been expressly stated by some writers who have written 
in support of Pakistan that the state contemplated by them will be 
a Muslim state. They think that means justice td all. In view of 
what has been quoted above, nop-^uslinis may not accept that 
opinion and it is necessary to have? a clear and well-defined scheme 
to enable a correct judgement to be formed on it. It is thus clear 
that the demand for elucidation and elaboration of the bald Lahore 
Resolution is clearly justified. The League, before it propounded 
the theory of two nations and put forward the scheme of partition, 
musjjhjj^ of a similar 

nature, and if it wants others who are not within it whether they 
are Muslims or non-Muslims to accept its programme, it must be 
prepared to share with them its solutions of these and similar 
knotty problems that arise, unless it wants them to vote for parti- 
tion blind-folded. 

It would be uncharitable to suggest th&LAhe League wants 
olhenTto commit themselves to a vague general theory and to an 
undefined scheme; and then gradually to unfold the implications 
aild details, to force them to accept the implications and details so 
unfolded, and in case of their inability to subscribe to the latter in 
spite of their acceptance of the former, to charge them with bad 
faith and with having gone back on theFF previous acceptance. 

But the way in which the matter is being exposed to public 
view lemK support to this uncharitable suggestion. At first the 
I^agueJJresident insisted that the principle of partition should be 
accepted first and cited tji.e Jnstance of a joint Hindu family in 
which when a partition has to take place the principle has first to be 
accepted and then the details of partition are worked out. This 
position has since been changed. Whei^Ir C. Rajiyjopalachari, 
with the consent and approval of Gandhiji^put forward a concrete 
scheme which, he claimed, fulfilled the terms of the Lahore resolu- 
tion of the League, Mr Jinnah denounced it in unmeasured terms. 

4. A. S. Tritton: "The Caliphs and their non-Muslim Subjects," pp. 23Q-? 


it may be pointed out how the position has shifted. When Mi\ 
Jinnah announced Jm^Jecisipu .tu fj^c^v^^Jdahatina^ Gandhi at .his 
Bombay house, he after denouncing the C. R. formula stated: 'Mr 
Gandfii has, at any rate in his personal capacity, accepted the prin- 
ciple of partition or division of Indiji., What remains now is the 
question of how and when this has got to be carried out/ 5 After 
this declaration one would have thought that the principle of parti- 
tion or division on which such emphasis was laid before the details 
could l?e released or worked out having been accepted, the next 
step would be to tackle the details and Mr Jinnah would put for- 
ward his scheme and show how and wherein it differed from the 
'maimed-, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan' of Mr Rajagopal- 
achari. But in the prolonged discussions which followed and the 
results of which are embodied in the letters exchanged between 
Gandhiji and Mr Jinnah, fresh demands are made for acceptance of 
the two nations theory and of the Lahore Resolution in its entirety 
before any further progress can be made with the elaboration of the 
details of the scheme. Once again the insistence is on acceptance 
of a bald general principle and bald general proposal for partition 
as distinguished from the mere principle of partition whicb in Mr 
Jinnah's own wqrds had been already accepted by Gandhiji. The 
acceptance of the proposition that the principle of partition should 
be accepted before details can be discussed has led not to the 
discussion of the details, but to a further demand for the acceptance 
of the theory of two nations which is said to underlie the whole idea 
of partition and of the Lahore Resolution. One wonders what 
further demands will be made if these two are also accepted. This 
is a natural result of insistence on a piece-meal consideration of the 
scheme of partition and the principle underlying it. 



The question as to what areas arc to be included within 
Pakistan has also a history which may not be generally kmnyn. As 
sKown elsewhere, there were several schemes by individuals for the 
division of India into Muslim and non-Muslim /ones. Some of 
them \vanted these zones for cultural purposes and for giving Mus- 
lims a better position in regard to the governance not only of the 
regions falling within the Muslim zone, but also of the country as a 
whole. Others were frankly for the establishment of independent 
Muslim^ states. It appears, as mentioned elsewhere, THaFfif'Felb- 
rS^^^i^4O y shortly before the Lahore Session of the All-India 
Muslim League which adopted the Pakistan resolution in the last 
week of the following March, the Foreign Committee of the League 

5. Statement before the Council of the All-India Muslim League at Lahore on 30-7-44. 


issued invitations Ho the authors of the various schemes of consti- 
tutional reform for India, to meet together under the auspices of 
the said committee in order to examine jointly each such scheme 
and see whether a consolidated scheme cannot be finally framed/ 1 
Sir Abdullah Haroon,, the Chairman of the Foreig'n Sub-committee 
of the All-India Muslim League, placed a memorandum in the 
hands of the President Mr Jinnah, and as he says in the letter just 
quoted, 'obviously this Resolution [the Lahore Resolution of the 
League] had been framed by the Working Committee in the light 
of the outline placed in your [Mr Jinnah's] hands by me in the 
shape of a small memorandum in February last/ 2 This memoran- 
dum has not been ^published and it is impossible to say what it 
contumecT. v 

Jn the schemes mentioned above whose authors met at the 
invitation of the Foreign Sub-committee, there were two wholly 
different and conflicting ideas. One idea was thatjlhe Muslim 
zone should be a compact one and should have as large a proportion 
of Muslims in its population as possible by excluding all those areas 
from it where the Muslims were in a minority, so that a large Mus- 
lim majority with a small non-Muslim minority could manage the 
affairs of the zone much as the Muslims desired.* This would be- 
come difficut if the Muslim majority was small and hence preca- 
rious, and thus the very object of having separate Muslim '"zones 
would be jeopardized, if not defeated. The other school was in 
favour of taking as large a portion of India as was possible within 
the Muslim zone, if only a Muslim majority, no matter if it was a 
small majority, could be secured. The object of the Committee 
appointed by the Foreign Sub-committee must have been among 
other things to reconcile these conflicting ideas. By the time of 
the annual Session of the League the labours of the Committee 
were not finished and only an ad interim memorandum was sub- 
mitted to the President of the League by Sir Abdullah Haroon. 
The Lahore resolution which according to Sir Abdullah Maroon 
was framed in the light of the outline contained in the memorandum 
was, it seems, framed in general and vague terms viz. 'that geo- 
graphically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which 
should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may 
be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically 
in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India 
should be grouped to constitute "independent States" in which 
the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign/ Now, 
the words used to denote the extent of the terr^rj^to be included 
in the Muslim state or states are Hinits^Tons', 'areas'* and 

1. Letter of Sir Abdullah Haroon, Chairman, Foreign Sub-Committee, All-India Muslim 
League, Dtd. 13th Dec. 1940, published in "The Pakistan Issue," pp. 73-4. 
" 2. ibid, p. 75. 


'zones'. None of these words is to be found in the present consti- 
tTTflonal or administrative documents of the country. The words 
generally used are 'Districts', Tahsils', Taluqas', 'Provinces', 
etc., and nothing could have been easier than to use these well- 
known and well-understood expressions, if clarity, intelligibility 
and definiteness were intended rather than obscurity, vagueness and 
ambiguity. Can it be that at that time if was considered inexpe- 
dient : to be* definite and clear and thus expose and intensify the 
differences between the two schools of thought within the League 
itself mentioned above? Be that as it may, we have to consider 
what meaning these words were intended to bear. 

In spite of the vagueness and indefiniteness, the words are 
definite , enough, even as they are, and have by implication and in 
an indirect way been given a definite meaning by no less a person 
than the President of the, League himself, and the meaning so given 
to' them is in favour of smaller Muslim area with larget,, Muslim 
majority and against larger Muslim area with smaller Muslim 
majority. - 

I shall mention some facts in support of this view. In ati inter- 
view that Mr Jinnah gave Mr W. W. Chapman, correspondent of 
the International News Service of America, he said that 'true In- 
dependence can only come by Pakistan with separate Muslim State 
or States in North- West section and Eastern section where Mus- 
lims are approximately 75 per cent of the population.' 3 This is 
correct with regard to the North-Western section, only if the 
districts ofjthe Punjab with non-Muslim majorities are excluded 
as the following figures according* to the census of 1941 will show: 

Population of Muslims and non-Muslims in the North-Western Zone 

Total Muslim Non-Muslim 

Name of Area J population population population 

(In lakhs) (In lakhs) (In lakhs) 

N. r ,W.F. Province . . 30.38 27.88 -2.49 

Sind .. .. 45-35 3 2 -8 13.27 

British Baluchistan . . 5.02 4.39 0,63 

Punjab Districts with Muslim 
majority (excluding those 
in which non-Muslims con- 
stitute a majority) . . 16871 123.64 45.07 

Total 249.46 187.99 6x46 

This works out exactly at 75.30 per cent fur Muslims and 24.70 
per cent for non-Muslims. If on the other hand you take the popu- 
lation of the whole of the Province of the Punjab by adding to the 

3* "Some Recent Speeches and Writings of Mr Jinnah," collected and edited by Jamilud- 
in Ahmad, 3rJ Edition (1943), p. 366. 


figures given above the population of the excluded portion where 
the non-Muslims are in majority, the position will be as follows: 

Total Muslim 

population population 

(In lakhs) (In lakhs) 

Total given above . . . . 24946 187.99 

Add the population of the excluded 

portion .. .. .. 115.48 38.54 

Grand total 364.94 226.53 

This works out at 62 per cent for the Muslim population. Simi- 
larly if we take the figures according to the census of 1931 the total 
population of the Provinces of the Punjab, Sind, N.-W.F.P. and 
British Baluchistan is 3,03,50,506 of whom 1,87,95,872 or 61.9 per 
cent are Muslims. 

fii making his statement to Mr Chapman Mr Jinnah could not 
therefore have possibly included the whole of the Punjab in the 
North-Western Muslim Zone but only that part of it in which 
Muslims are in a majority. r 

There is another document which points to the same conclu- 
sion. Mr M. R. T. has written much in the Eastern Times on the 
subject of separation of Muslim zones from the rest of India. After 
the Lahore Session of the League in March 1940, a book named 
India's Problem of her Future Constitution was published by Mr M. IT. 
Saiyid, Mount Pleasant Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay, evidently on 
behalf of Mr M, A. Jinnah, to which he himself contributed a Pre- 
face. In the Preface Mr Jinnah says: 'To those who really wish 
to examine the problems of India's future constitution, this collec- 
tion may help. It is with this object in view that f have selected 
a few of the well-considered views in a convenient form of a book- 
let/ Further, 'I hope that this booklet will make a considerable 
contribution towards the clarification of the Lahore Resolution of 
the All-India Muslim League which raises a fundamental issue, 
and I trust every well-wisher of this vast sub-continent will ap 
proach the subject free from prejudice, bias and sentiments. 
Among the views included in this book which were selected by 
Mr Jinnah himself is an article by Mr M. R. T. published in the 
Eastern Times of the 5th January 1940 before the League session. 
Jn this article while discussing the question of Protection versus 
Separation Mr M. R. T. says: 'They [Muslims] number 28 mil- 
lions iirthe North- West out of a total population of 42 millions in 
the, five adjoining areas of the Punjab, Kashmir, Sind, the Frontier 
Province and Baluchistan. The proportion of Muslim population 
can further be raised by a readjustment of eastern frontier of the 
Punjab. If Ambala Division^and Eastern Hindu ami Sikh states 
are excluded from the Punjab, its population will be reduced f 1*0111 


28 J million* at present to 21 millions, but the Muslim percentage 
will be raised from 55 at present to 70, This Muslim percentage 
will further be raised Ff We entire Muslim North-West is taken 
together as a whole. With the eastern frontier modified as pro- 
posed, the North-West will have a total population of 35 millions 
of which Muslims will number 27 millions and non-Muslims 8 
millions. The Muslim proportion of 77 per cent will be strong 
enough to ensure a permanent stable government, and this result 
will be achieved without having recourse to any scheme of exchange 
of population/ 4 Thus this scheme which is published with Mr 
Jinnah's authority as 'making a considerable contribution towards 
the clarification of the Lahore Resolution' favours the exclusion of 
that portion of the Punjab in which according to him M~usTims are 
not in a majority. 

There is another matter which also indirectly supports the 
same viewpoint. 1 have mentioned above the Committee appointed 
by the Foreign Committee of the League under the chairmanship 
of Sir Abdullah Haroon. Jt continued its labours after the Lahore 
session of the League and actually prepared a scheme, with details 
of the territories to be included in the North- Western zone worked 
out. In this scheme the Committee included the whole of the 
Punjab, the Indian states of the Punjab and Kashmir, a portion of 
British India beyond the eastern boundary of the Delhi Province, 
and a part of the District of Aligarh so as to bring Aligarh within 
the zone and the IncRaiirStatc!s"of Kikaner and Jaisalmer of Raj- 
putana. This scheme got an unauthorized and premature publi- 
cation in the Statesman (Delhi) oO8J^F5Fuary^J94i, t and the Delhi 
correspondents of Provincial papers forthwith telegraphed a sum- 
mary to their respective centres saying that the Foreign Committee 
of the League had published the Report on the I7th February. 
Dr Syed Abdul Latif was asked by Sir Abdullah Haroon to go 
through the scheme and send his comments thereon which he did 
on theJSth March 1941, and forwarded a copy of his note to Mr 
Jinnah. This seems to have annoyed Mr Jinnah who on the 15th 
March wrote to Dr Latif making it 'clear to you and publicly, that 
the Muslim League has appointed no such Committee as you keep 
harping upon, and neither the Muslim -League nor I can recognise 
any of* these suggestions or proposals of these so-called schemes 
except as I have said any suggestion from individuals or groups 
will receive due consideration. Please therefore let me make it 
clear once fox all .that neither Sir Abdullah Haroon nor you should 
go OiFfaTlcing of this Comjiiittee or that ConimiUeejiiuHnvolving 
the Muslim League or its aiUhprTl}njeIiT^'TTie proposalslllial may 
betormitlated by Individuals or groups." 5 * 

4. "India's Problem of her Future Constitution," pp. 33-4. 

5. "The Pakistan Issue," p. 100. 


The position reduces itself to this. We have the President of 
the League declaring to the correspondent of an International News 
Ageocy that the population "of Muslims in the North- Western Zone 
will be 75 per cent of the total population a result which can be 
obtained only if the eastern districts of the Punjab where non- 
Muslims are in majority are excluded from the zone. He selects a 
number of views and publishes them as making 'a considerable 
contribution" towards the clarification of the Lahore Resolution'. 
In this collection of views he includes the scheme of Mr M. R. T. 
who proposes the exclusion of the eastern districts of the Punjab, 
and excludes the views of others who had worked out schemes' 
and published them in which they had included the whole of the 
Punjab and some other parts of British India besides some of the 
Indian states. When the Committee appointed by the Foreign 
Committee of the League under the Chairmanship of a prominent 
member of the League, Sir Abdullah Haroon, prepares a scheme in 
which it includes the whole of the Punjab and some portion of 
British India down to Aligarh and some Indian States, Mr Jinnali 
repudiates the action of the Committee and the Committee itself. 
The co::ciusion seems to be irresistible that the President of the 
League was inclined in favour of a scheme excluding the eastern 
districts of the Punjab from the North-Western Zone and was not 
in favour of including the whole of the Punjab in it. In view of 
all these things it was essential that the President or the League 
should authoritatively tell the Muslims and non-Muslims of India 
in clear and precise language what Districts .and Provinces of 
British India were intended to be included in the Nfcrth-Western 
Zone. But as stated above he refused to do so and persisted in his 
refusal til! April 1944 when the non-Muslim ministers of the Punjab 
wanted the details to be made known for a consideration of the 
stfTeme/ It was only after Mr C. Rajagopalachari had given a 
concrete form in terms which are used in constitutional and admi- 
nistrative documents and are thus easily understood and, clearly 
definable, and in the course of talks with Mahatma Gandhi and at 
a Press interview, that Mr Jinnah was induced to declare for 

that the units to be included in the Muslim zones contem- 
plated in the Lahore Resolution were Provinces as they stand today 
and not Districts, which means that tKc whole of the Punjab was to 
tie included in the North-Western Zone and the whole of Bengal 
and Assam in the Eastern Zone. We have seen how the idea of 
including the whole of the Punjab is contradicted by the President's 
own acts. 

We shall refer to the case of the Eastern Zone now. The 
population of Bengal is 6,03,06,525 out of which 3,30,05,434 or 54.73 
per cent are Muslims. The population of Assam is r, 0^047.33 of 


whom 34,42,479 or 33.73 per cent are Muslims. If both the Pro- 
vinces in their entirety are to be included in the Eastern Muslim 
Zone, as is now claimed to have been intended by the Lahore 
Resolution, the position will be that out of a total population of 
7,05,11,258 of the two Provinces taken together the Muslims will 
be 3,64,47,913 or 5U^LT c ^ nt - Mr Jinnah's statement to Mr 
Chapman quotecfabove that tHie'Musliiil population would be about 
75 per cent is certainly very wide of the mark. Even if we exclude 
nie portions of Bengal and Assam in which there is an overwhelm- 
ing non-Muslim majority and include only the districts with Mus- 
lim majority in the Eastern Zone, the Muslim population in it will 
not exceed 68 or 69 per cent. Mr M. R. T. in the article reproduced 
in India's Problem of her Future Constitution says on page 34 with regard 
to this Eastern Zone as follows: 'In Bengal, too, like the Punjab, 
a readjustment of frontiers will raise the Muslim proportion in 
population to 80 per cent or more. At present the Muslims form 
an overwhelming majority of 75 per cent in Eastern Bengal and 
the Goalpara and Sylhet districts of Western Bengal which are 
contiguous to Eastern Bengal. If this Muslim population is form- 
ed together so as to come under a new province of Eastern Bengal 
and Assam, the Muslims will be placed in a permanent majority of 
80 per cent in a total population of 40 millions/ The figures given 
by Mr M.R. T. are incorrect as will be seen later, but we are here 
concerned with only pointing out that in his contemplation the 
whole of Bengal and the whole of Assam were not to be combined 
to create the Eastern Muslim Zone but only such portions of them 
as had a majority of Muslims in their population. The Haroon 
Committee's recommendation was that the North-Eastern Zone 
'should include the present provinces of Assam and Bengal 
(excluding Bankura and Midnapore districts) and the district of 
Purnea from Bihar whose population is racially and culturally akin 
to that of Bengal/ Even this Committee excluded some districts 
of Bengal. So what has been said about the North-Western Zone 
in regard to the shifting of the League's demand about the terri- 
tories to be included applies with equal force to the Eastern Zone 


We have seen how the xague and ambiguous words usjd in the 
Lahore Resolution can be interpreted to bear different meanings 
in regard to the territories sought to be included in the Eastern and 
No^th- Western Muslim Zones. /A clear-cut, detailed, and well- 
defined scheme is necessary for a lair and intelligent consideration 
of it by Muslims and non-Muslims alikej But the League has 


refused to give such details. We have nevertheless to consider the 
terms of the Lahore Jlesolution giving to its words the ordinary 
and natural meaning that they bear and make out what was in- 
tended and aimed a-t by the League when it passed the Lahore 
Resolution. Let us then analyse the resolution. 

It consists of three parts. The, first part reiterates that the 
scheme of federation embodied in the Government of India Act, 
3 935> ^ totally unsuited to and unworkable in the peculiar condi- 
tions of this country and is altogether unacceptable to Muslim 
India. The second part records its emphatic view that while the 
declaration dated the i8th October 1939 made by the Viceroy on 
behalf of His Majesty's Government is reassuring in so far as it 
declares that the policy and plan on which the Government of India 
Act, 1935, is based will be reconsidered in consultation with the 
various parties, interests and communities in India, Muslim India 
will not be satisfied unless the whole constitutional plan is reconsi- 
dered de novo and that no revised plan would be acceptable to the 
Muslims unless it is framed with their approval and consent. Thus 
these two parts are addressed to the British Government and 
declare the views of the League in regard to any constitutional 
proposals which they might be contemplating,- and they are of 
importance in the context of our present discussion only to the 
extent they furnish a background for the third part which deals 
with the question of creation of independent Muslim states in the 
North-Western and Eastern zones of India. 

The first paragraph of the third part expresses the considered 
view of the League 'that no constitutional plan would be workable 
in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the 
following basic principle, viz. that geographically contiguous units 
are demarcated into regions which should be constituted with such 
territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in 
which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North- 
Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute 
independent states in which the constituent units shall be autono- 
mous and sovereign.' 

The second paragraph lays clown that adequate, effective and 
mandatory safeguards shouJd be specifically provided in the consti- 
tution for minorities for the protection of their religious, cultural, 
economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in 
consultation with them both in the Muslim and non-Muslim zones. 

The third paragraph authorizes the Working Committee of 
the League to frame a scheme of constitution in accordance with 
these basic principles, providing for the assumption finally by the 
respective regions of all powers such as Defence, External Affairs, 
Communications, Customs, and such other matters as may be 


The questions that arise are: (a) Who is to frame the consti- 
tution? (b) What is to be the nature of the constitution contem- 
plated theocratic, democratic, oligarchic, totalitarian, or any 
other? (c) What is the relation of these Independent states' 
going to be with the British Empire and the non-Muslim zones? 
(d) In case of bredch of any of the mandatory safeguards for the 
protection of the minorities, how, by whom, and under what sanc- 
tion are these safeguards to be enforced? (e) What are the terri- 
tories to be included in the Muslim state or states? (f) What will 
be their resources and position? (g) What is the authority that 
will be in charge of defence, external affairs, communications, cus- 
toms and such other matters during the period intervening between 
the enforcement of the constitution and final assumption by the 
independent states of power in regard to these matters? 

Apart from "the question of territories to be included in the 
Muslim zones, it is necessary fully to understand the implications 
of the resolution in regard to such questions, inasmuch as Mr Jinnah 
insists on acceptance of the Lahore Resolution v 

(a)' Who is to frame the constitution? The frameworlo^of the 
Resolution and the context in which the proposal for a new consti- 
tutional plan is made show that it is to be framed by the British 
Parliament, even as the Act of 1935, which is condemned in an 
earlier part of the Resolution, was framed. Indians, for that matter 
Muslims, will have no hand in framing it, although the plan when 
framed should receive the approval and consent of the Muslims to 
make it acceptable to them. Acceptance of this part of the Reso- 
lution will take us back even beyond and behind the Cripps propo- 
sals which frankly conceded the right of the people of India to 
frame their own constitution. Other statements made by British 
authorities have also conceded that right which the Musalmans, 
Hindus and others of India are expected to give up by accepting 
this part of the League Resolution. 

(b) What is to be the nature of the contemplated constitution 
theocratic, democratic, oligarchic, totalitarian, or any other? 
The resolution is silent on .this point. < The League considers the 
democratic form of Government unsuitable to India and this view 
has been expressed on numerous occasions by the President. We 
may quote here some typical passages from the speeches and writ- 
ings of Mr Jinnah: 

'Having regard to the 35 millions of voters, the bulk of whom 
are totally ignorant, illiterate and untutored, living in centuries-old 
superstitions of the worst type, thoroughly antagonistic to each 
other, culturally and socially, the working of this constitution has 
clearly brought out that it is impossible to work a democratic 


parliamentary Government in India/ 1 

'Such, however, is the ignorance about Indian conditions 
among even the members of the British Parliament that in spite of 
all the experience of the past, it is even yet not realised that this 
form of Government is totally unsuited to India. Democratic sys- 
tems based on the concept of a homogeneous nation such as Eng- 
land are very definitely not applicable to heterogeneous countries 
such as India and this simple fact is the root cause of all of India's 
constitutional ills. . . . Western democracy is totally unsuited for 
India and its imposition on India is the disease in the body politic.' 2 , 

It is, therefore, necessary clearly to define the nature of the 
state so that people might judge and decide whether the form of 
Government envisaged is such as will be acceptable to them. It is 
as necessary for the minorities in the Muslim and non-Muslim 
zones as for the majorities to know, since Western democracy as 
ordinarily understood is unsuitable to India and unacceptable to 
the Muslim League, what other form or what modifications in the 
democratic conception of the West are acceptable to the League. 
The reason given by the protagonists of Pakistan for rejecting 
democ/^cy for India is that the population is not homogeneous in 
India where the Muslims constitute such a large proportion of the 
total population. This reason will not cease to operate after parti- 
tion in the Muslim zones, as the Hindus and other non-Muslims in 
those zones will not under any calculation be less in proportion of 
the total population of those areas than Muslims in India as a 
whole. The proportion of Muslims in British India is 26.83 per 
cent. The proportion of non-Muslims in the North-Western Zone 
will be 37.93 per cent if the entire Province of the Punjab is includ- 
ed, and 24.64 per cent if the Districts with non-Muslim majority 
are not included in the zone. Similarly, the proportion of non- 
Muslims in the Eastern Zone will be 48.31 pei cent and 30.58 per 
:ent according as districts with non-Muslim majorities are or are 
not included in it. It cannot be said with any consistency or show 
of reason and justice that democracy is unsuitable to India because 
the Muslims are in a minority, and that it becomes suitable when 
the position is reversed and they become the majority and non- 
Muslims the minority in the separated Muslim regions. It is there- 
fore not an unwarrantecHnference that when the President* of the 
League says that democracy is unsuitable to India, it is and will 
remain equally unsuitable to Pakistan and that therefore some 
other form of constitution is contemplated. Why should not a clear 
picture of that constitution be given to all concerned to enable them 
to judge it on its merits and accept it with their eyes open after full 

1. Statement to the "Manchester Guardian" reproduced in "Recent Speeches and Writ-* 
ings of Mr Jinnah," p. 86. 

2. Article in the "Time and Tide," Dtd. 19-lr40 reproduced in Do., pp. 111-13. 


(c) What is the relation of these independent states going to 
be with the British Empire and the non-Muslim zone? It is clear 
that they will be independent of the non-Muslim zone, but it is not 
clear that they will be independent of the British Empire. If they 
are to be independent of the British Empire, there is no sense or 
meaning in asking or expecting the British Parliament to frame a ( 
constitution for them and for the rest of India. The third para- ' 
graph of part 3 clearly indicates that assumption of complete inde- 
pendence at the very outset is not contemplated but an interim 
period has to intervene during which powers relating to defence, 
external affairs, communications, customs, and such other matters 
will vest in some other authority. As the League has repudiated 
the idea of these powers being vested in any Indian body inasmuch 
as Hindus are bound to be in a majority in it, it follows that they 
can remain vested in the British Government during this interval,] 
The word 'Finally' in the third paragraph of part 3 of the Reso- 
lution makes it abundantly clear that the independence of these 
independent states will be of a limited character to begin with. The 
interval which must elapse between the establishment of the inde- 
pendent states and the assumption of full powers by them is not 
indicated and evidently will depend on circumstances which were 
considered incalculable at the time the resolution was framed. The 
position, thus, of the Muslim independent states in the beginning 
will be less than that of a Dominion of the British Commonwealth 
under the Statute of Westminster and it is not clear when, if ever, 
they are to be free of British control altogether. That the inter- 
pretation here put is not unwarranted is apparent from an interview 
which Mr Jinnah gave to the News Chronicle of London: 8 

4 Q. But surely there would be a civil war. You would be creat- 
ing an Indian Ulster which Hindus might one clay attack in the 
name of united India. 

Mr Jinnah : I do not agree but there would be under the new 
constitution a transitional period for settlement and adjustment 
during which time British authority, so far as armed forces and 
foreign affairs are concerned, would remain paramount. The length 
of the transitional period would depend on the speed with which 
the two peoples and Great Britain adjusted themselves to the new 

Q. What if Britain then refused to leave India on grounds that 
relations between Hindustan and Pakistan were not good enough 
to live as neighbours? 

Mr Jinnah: That might happen but it is not likely. Even so 
we should enjoy a degree of autonomy which we do not possess 
today. As a separate nation and a Dominion we should at least be 
in a better position to deal with and possibly reach an agreement 

3. Published in "The A. B. Patrika," 4-3-1944. 


with the British Government which we are not able to do during 
the present deadlock,' 

It may be noted in passing that the use of the word 'Domi- 
nion' in the last sentence quoted above is inaccurate, because as 
regards armed forces and foreign affairs the British authority will 
remain paramount in Pakistan during the interval, whereas in a 
British Dominion British authority is not, and the Dominion Go- 
vernment is paramount even in respect of these matters. The use of 
the word 'independent' does not and cannot in the context mean 
even Dominion Status here and now, much less complete indepen- 
dence of British control or complete transfer of power to the people 
of the regions concerned. If the rest of India or any portion of it 
attains complete independence of British control, it will still have 
to deal with the British Government in these regions albeit with a 
majority of Muslims in them. They will constitute islands of the 
British Empire in an independent India. The independence con- 
templated is thus from the rest of India and not from the British 
Empire at all, at any rate in the early stages. 

I shall quote juSt one more passage from another statement of 
Mr Jinnah regarding the status of the new states to be created by 
partition. In a statement to the Press on the ist April 1940, imme- 
diately after the Lahore Resolution, we find the following: 

In regard to the relationship of the Muslim Homeland with 
Great Britain Mr Jinnah referred to the Lahore Resolution and 
said: 'As regards other zone or zones that may be constituted in 
the rest of India, our relationship will be of an international 
character. An example already exists in the relationship of India 
with Burma and Ceylon/ 4 Evidently then not only Pakistan but 
Hindustan also are contemplated as part and parcel of the British 
Empire and enjoying the same position which India, Burma and 
Ceylon have today vis-a-vis the British Government and also as 
between themselves. 

Again, Mr Jinnah in his interview referred only to armed forces 
and foreign affairs, whereas the Resolution mentions 'communica- 
tions, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary'. The 
rest of India will have no kind of authority in any matter whatso- 
ever and the Muslim zones also in the interval will not assume 
power in regard to these matters. The only conclusion possible is 
that the British authority will continue to be paramount in respect 
of 'communications, customs and such other matters as may be 
necessary 1 also. These indeed would cover a large field and it is 
not inconceivable that in some respects the powers of the Muslim 
zones may be even less than those of a Provincial Government 
under the Government of India Act of 1935. 

It has been said that the independent Muslim zones will enter 

4. Mr M, R, T.: "India's Problem of her Future Constitution/' p. 31. 


into a treaty with the rest of India as between two independent 
States. If the British authority is to be paramount in regard to 
foreign affairs in the Muslim zones, how can the Governments of 
such zones enter into a treaty with the rest of India? The treaty, 
if any, will therefore be between the rest of India and the British 
authority, or at most between the rest of India and the Muslim 
zones acting under the authority and instruction of the British 
Government in the same way as the Government of India today 
may enter into a treaty with an independent state like Afghanistan. 

(d) In case of breach of any of the mandatory safeguards for 
the protection of the minorities, how, by whom, and under what 
sanction are such safeguards to be enforced? 

The Muslim League Resolution is absolutely silent on this 
point. As the two -states the Muslim and the non-Muslim are to 
be independent of each other and not subject to any common central 
control of any kind whatsoever, there seems to be no authority 
that can enforce these mandatory provisions by any legal or admi- 
nistrative process. Any breach will have to be tfeated on the same 
basis as a hostile act of one State against another; and can^be set 
right, in the absence of an amicable settlement, through diplomatic 
channels or international arbitration by the methods known for 
settling international disputes. Is it possible or at any rate easy 
for minorities in one State to invoke the aid of their nationals in 
other independent States for such disputes? The new Muslim 
States carved out of India will not be the only Muslim States in 
the world. There are other Muslim States in close proximity to 
India. Has it been possible for the Muslim minority in India to 
invoke the aid of these Muslim States against the tyranny and 
oppression of non-Muslims? If the story of tyranny and oppres- 
sion by Congress ministries against Muslims has any truth and can 
at all furnish a justification for the creation of new Muslim States, 
it could furnish just grounds for protest through diplomatic chan- 
nels, if not intervention, by the existing Muslim States especially 
when Muslims no matter where they reside, irrespective of any 
other consideration, simply by reason of their religion, constitute 
one nation. Has any attempt been made by the Muslim minority 
of India to invoke such aid? Asjhe independent States will hav.e 
nothing in common between them, * Hindustan' will find it very, 
difficult if notJjoapjQ^ible tojntervene, if the non-Muslim minority 
is^oppressed in Pakistan, and vice versa Pakistan will find it 
equally difficult if not impossible to intervene in favour of the 
Muslim minority in Hindustan. 

It is worth while recording here the experience of minorities in 
Europe whose rights were safeguarded by the .Minority Treaties 
under the guarantee of the League of Nations. 'There have been 


laudable exceptions both in the new States and in the old; but 
generally speaking the fate of the minorities has been one of suffer- 
ing. Almost every State has committed, and every minority suffer- 
ed under, flagrant violations of the Minority Treaties. And these 
have been committed, to all intents and purposes, with impunity 
. . . But even with these qualifications, it is impossible honestly to 
deny that the League guarantee has proved but a broken reed to 
the minorities. The percentage of cases in which the League's 
intervention has been invoked with any real effect has been deplor- 
ably low and, even in those, considerations were generally at work 
other than the determination to obtain pure justice for the mino- 
rities/ 5 

For a fair treatment of the minorities in the independent States 
of Pakistan and Hindustan, it has been suggested that k as a matter 
of fact the existence of minorities both in Hindu "India and Muslim 
States will make it possible for them to adopt a common line of 
action and to restore confidence among the minorities which will 
thus be finally reconciled to their lot.' 6 'The division of India will 
throw a great responsibility upon the majority in its respective 
zonps to create a real sense of security amongst the minorities and 
win their complete trust and confidence.' 7 Now, separation is not 
necessary for cheating a sense of responsibility in the majority to- 
wards the minorities and for winning their confidence. Indeed, 
unity provides a more favourable atmosphere for the growth of this 
sense of responsibility and it can be and should be cultivated 
whether there is division or not. What is really meant in the above 
extract is not so much a genuine sense of responsibility as a sense 
of fear in the majority in one state of the reaction of the majority 
in the other state. This can happen for one of two reasons. Each 
independent state may be apprehensive of active intervention by 
the other independent state and may thus be put on its behaviour. 
As shown above this is rarely, if at all, possible. The second way 
in which it may happen is that one independent State will not ill- 
treat its minority for fear that the other independent State may 
act similarly towards its minorities. In other words, the minorities 
will serve as hostages in the hands of their Government for the good 
conduct of the other Government. It is very doubtful if this can 
work in practice. The very idea of ill-treating people who have 
done nothing wrong and may for all practical purposes be the best 
of citizens in their own State, because some other independent 
Government with which they have no concern has misbehaved, is 
so repugnant to our sense of natural justice that it is inconceivable 
that either Pakistan or Hindustan will resort to reprisal against its 
own subjects for the act of an independent Government. If the 

5. C. B. Macartney: "National States and National Minorities" (1934), p. 390. 

6. Mr M. R. T.: op. cit., p. 41. 7. ibid., quoting Mr Jinnah at p. 30. 


story of Congress tyranny has any foundation in fact, the Muslim 
Ministries in Muslim Provinces could have retaliated in their own 
Provinces, as the powers enjoyed by all Ministries were the same 
under the Government of India Act; and under the Act if Congress 
Ministries could oppress the Muslims, the Muslim Ministries could 
equally exercise the self-same powers and oppress the Hindu mino- 
rities under them. They could at any rate have put pressure on 
the Central Government to use such powers as it possessed through 
the Governors to protect the Muslim minorities. But nothing 
appears to have been done either by way of reprisal or by invoking 
the special powers of the Governors by the Muslim Ministries. Not 
that non-Muslim minorijties had no grievances against the Muslim 
Ministries. Xh?y ."had serious grievances which were ventilated in 
the Legislatures and the public Press. But no one has asserted that 
the acts complained of were of a retaliatory nature done for pro- 
tecting Muslim minorities in other Provinces. All this can be 
explained only by the fact that the complaints about ^cts, of oppres- 
ion were not justified or at least not serious enough to induce Mus- 
lim Ministries to take any action although they now form one of 
the major grounds fgr claiming a division of India. Hcn^^U the 
position be any better if independent Muslim States are established 
in the North- Western and Eastern Regions of India where Muslim 1 
Ministries have functioned all along during this period, of 'tyranny 
arid' oppression 1 ? If anything, their being* cut off altogether from 
tTTe"rest of India will act more as a handicap than help in this res- 
pect. The whole basis of the demand for separation is the appre- 
hension that the Hindu majority will .suppress and oppress the 
Muslim minority in India as a whole, (if the Hindu majority can 
do that with impunity when the Muslims form such a large propor- 
tion of the population of India there is no reasonable ground for 
hoping that it will -behave better when the Muslims come to be a 
much smaller community in Hindustan and consequently less 
capable of extorting fair treatment from an unjust majority. Inter- 
vention by the independent Muslim states being impossible, or at 
any rate difficult in most cases, any safeguards in the constitution 
of the independent States will prove effective only to the extent 
the majority is in a mood to respect them or the minority is in a 
position to enforce them. Ex hypothesi the Hindu majority cannot 
be depended upon to be just and fair. The Muslim minority in 
Hindustan will be weaker than it is today to enforce fair treatment. 
The safeguards, even though mandatory in their respective consti- 
tutions, will always be open to revision by the independent States, 
if they are really independent, and, even if they are allowed to 
remain in the constitution, will for the reasons given above prove 
illusory and afford no protection to the minority, as the experience 
of safeguards guaranteed even by the League of Nations shows. 


(e) 1 What are the territories to be included in the Muslim 
State or States? 

TABLE vin opposite gives details of population by Communities 
of the Provinces of British India as given in the Census of India, 
1941. A study of this table will prove of use in understanding fully 
the question of delimitation. 

The Resolution has not defined or delimited the territories, nor 
has any other authority of the League done so. But the Resolution 
has laid down the basic principle viz. that geographically conti- 
guous units are demarcated into regions which should be so consti- 
tuted, with such territorial readjustments as may b'e necessary, that 
the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in 
the North- Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped 
to constitute "Independent States' in which the constituent units 
shall be autonomous and sovereign. The tests that have to be 
applied in deciding^ whether any particular unit is to be included 
are: (i) Is the unit geographically contiguous , to another unit 
which is to be included in the Muslim state? (ii) Are the Muslims 
numerically in a majority in this unit? (iii) Is the necessary terri- 
torial readjustment possible, to make the unit fulfil the first two 
tests? Besides, each unit within the zone will be autonomous and 

It has been authoritatively stated by the President of the 
Muslim League that the Lahore Resolution does not deal with 
Indian States. Dealing with the Indian States Mr Jinnah said: 
'The only important states which matter are not in the Eastern 
but in the North- Western zone. They are Kashmir, Bahawalpur, 
Patiala, etc. If these States willingly agree to come into federation 
of Muslim Homeland we shall be g'lad to come to a reasonable and 
honourable settlement with them. We have, however, no desire 
to force them or coerce them in any way.' 2 Again, when Gandhiji 
wanted to know during his negotiations with him in September 
.1944, if in Pakistan Kashmir was included as in the original propo- 
sal, he said that now Pakistan refers only to the four Provinces of 
Sind, Baluchistan, the N.-W.F.P. and the Punjab. We have, there- 
fore, in demarcating the Muslim zones to leave the Indian States 
out of consideration. 

As regards the area to be included in the Muslim zone, the 
sentence is somewhat involved and the expressions used to denote 

1. See p. 227. 

2. Statement to Press, Dtd. 1st April 1940, printed in "India's Problem of her Future 
Constitution," p. 3D. ' 

Population by Communities of Provinces of British India, with Percentages 

(Figures in lakhs; Percentages in brackets) 






Muslims Chrstns 










































0. P. 

























































































NTW.F.P. 30.38 





























































An da mans & 




























- .. 














1 .31 














































I ^ * f_<L. 


__, r '*,.._. n - 






' (51.0) 



(26. 8) 








what is to be included in Pakistan are many and unknown to 
present-day constitutional and administrative language current in 
British Government documents. Thus the expressions used are 
'units', 'regions', 'areas', and 'zones', none of whiqh is defined 
by the League and none of which is used in current administrative 
and constitutional literature. The current words are Province, 
District, Tahsil, Taluqa, Thana, etc. and it was easy enough to 
express the meaning of the resolution by using these current words, 
if the meaning was clear to the authors of the resolution and if they 
intended to make it clear to others Muslims and non-Muslims 
alike including the British Government. The use of ambiguous 
language and the reluctance to disclose the details of the proposal 
and clarify its implications have been to say the least, unfortupate. 
Not only have they prevented concentration of attention on the 
scheme and led to a crop of unauthorized interpretations thereof 
but have also created doubts in the minds of many people who have 
begun to put various questions some of which may be indicated. 
Why was such ambiguous language employed? Was it to leave 
undetermined the difference that existed among the protagonists 
of division, one set of whom insisted on homogeneous Muslim 
States in North- Western and Eastern India with large, if not over- 
whelming*, Muslim majorities, and the other was satisfied with 
small, if not bare, Muslim majorities, provided larger slices of the 
country came under Muslim Independent States? Or was it consi- 
dered inexpedient to expose the whole scheme to public view and 
public criticism? Why has there been such reluctance to specify 
what is to be included in the Muslim states and what is to be exclud- 
ed from them? Can it be that the whole thing is left vague and 
ambiguous so that in due time what was considered best and most 
expedient might be put forward? Can it be that when once the non- 
Muslims have agreed to the principle of division, they might be 
asked to agree to whatever the territories the League' demanded 
on pain of being charged with bad faith, if they raised any question 
at the time of demarcation of boundaries? 

Whatever may have been the intention or motive for using such 
ambiguous language avoiding current expressions, the attempt has 
not been successful and on a fair construction of the language used 
there can be but one meaning that can be gathered from the Reso- 
lution as a whole. As pointed out above there can be no doubt that 
no territory in which Muslims are not numerically in a majority 
can bejncluded in the Muslim state, and further, such territory has 
to be contiguous to other territory with similar Muslim majority. 

Let us apply these tests and see what areas can be included in 
the North-Western and Eastern zones which have to be constituted 
into independent States. Let us take each Province witH its 

I. The North- Western Zone 

Figures from Census of India, 1941, are given below (with per- 
centages in brackets ) : 

Population by Communities of Sind 




7,370 3,89,380 


58,372 3,29,991 
(14.99) (84.74) 

4,476 7,58,748 2,45,849 5,*07,620 
(32.40) (66.90) 


8 f 357 7,13,900 2,22,597 4,57,035 11,310 
(31.18) (64.00) 

2,857 5,11,208 

91,062 4,18,543 
(17.8D (81.85) 

Nawabthah 3,908 $,84,178 1,40,428 4,36,414 

(24.04) (74.72) 

Sukkur 5,550 6,92,556 1,95,4^8 4,91,634 

(28.22) (70.98) 

Thar-Parkar 13,649 5, 81, 004 2,47,496/^92^025V 

;^~ - ZZZ (42.58)( (50.26)0 

(fpptr Sind ' -*^^ 

Frontier 1,969 3,04,034 28,664' 2,75,063 
* (9.42) i (90.47) 







154 7994 

769 4,020 
884 22,074 
~ 1,334 

212 1,326 5,798 



If8ff36 ^i35,008 12, 29, 926 32,08,325 13,232 

--.- -. -- -, __ (27.12) (70.75) __ (2.13) 

51 5,136 
33,635 7,048 


36,819 46,706 

111 the above figures under the head 'Others' are included 
Sikhs 31,011 or 0.68 per cent; Christians (other than Indian Chris- 
tians) 6,977; Jains 3,687; Paris 3,838; Buddhists in; Jews 
1,082; Total 46,706 who are not shown separately District by 
District. (Common percentage for last three columns taken to- 

Population by Communities of the N.-W.F.P. 

















Mar dan 




(95? 46) 








(90.3 1 *) 




















D.I. Khan 

4 f 2l6 











(91.79) ^ (2.26) 


"Others' in the above statement include 57,939 or 1.91 per 
cent Sikhs; 5463 Christians other than Indian Christians; 25 
Buddhists; 71 Jews; i Jain; 24 Parsis Total 63,523. 

Population by Communities of Baluchistan 

District Area Total Indian 

(Sq.Milee) population Hindus Muslims Christian Others 

1,56,289 28,629 1J3,288 2,296 12,076 

(18.32) (72.48) (-- 9.19 

Loralai 7,375 53,685 3,129 79,273 

(3.7*O (94,73) 

Zhob 10,478 61,1*99 4,286 55,987 

(6.97) (91.0*0 (- 

Bolaa 407 6,009 950 4>,812 

(15.81) (80.08) t (~ 

Chagai 19,429 29,250 1,204 2?, 864 

( 4<|2) (95.26) ( 

Sibi 1^,457 1,64,899 6,425 1, 57,706 118 
r ( 3.89) (95.63) (- 

total 5^,456 5,01,631 44,623 4,38,930 2,633 
, , ( 8.89) (87.3D 

In the above under the head 'Others' are included 11,918 or 
2.38 per cent Sikhs; 3,369 Christians other than Indian Chris- 
tians; 7 Jains; 75 Parsis; 43 Buddhists; 19 Jews and 14 others 
Total 15445. 

A glance at the tables will show that in none of the districts of 
Sincl are non-Muslims in a majority. On the other hand Muslims 
are in a majority in each and every district, their highest proportion 
being 90.47 per cent in the Upper-Sind Frontier District and the 
lowest being 50.26 per cent in Thar Parkar District. The com- 
munal proportion in the Province as a who'e is: Muslims 70.75 
per cent, Hindus 27.12 per cent and others including Sikhs, Chris- 
tians, Jains, Buddhists, Jews and Tribes 2.13 per cent out of which 
Sikhs constitute 0.68 per cent of the total population. The Pro- 
vince as a whole is contiguous to Baluchistan, and the N.-W.F.P. 
and the western Punjab. 

Similarly in each and every district of the N.-W.F.P. the 
Muslims are in numerical majority, their highest proportion being 
95.46 per cent in Mardan District and the lowest being 85.78 per 
cent in Dera Ismail Khan District. In the Province as a whole the 
Muslims constitute 91.79 per cent, the Hindus 5.94 per cent, the 
rest 2.26 per cent, including the Sikhs who are 1.91 per cent of the 
total population of the Province. The Province is contiguous to 
Baluchistan, Sind and western Punjab. 

Baluchistan likewise has a Muslim majority in each of its 
districts, their highest proportion being 95,63 per cent :n the Sibi 


District and their lowest being 72.48 per cent in Qnetta Pishin 
District. In the Province as a whole the Muslims constitute 87.51 
per cent, the Hindus 8,89 per cent and others 3.60 per cent of the 
total population. Among the 'Others' are included Sikhs who form 
2.38 per cent of the total population. This Province is also conti- 
guous to Sind, the N.-W.F.P. and the Punjab. 

Thus there can be no doubt that these three British Provinces 
fulfil the test laid down by the Lahore Resolution of the Muslim 
League for being included in the Muslim Independent State in the 
North-West of India. 

The position of the Punjab is different, as a reference to the 
table given below will show (Census, 1941). 

Population by Communities of the Punjab 

Division or 




(Sq. Miles) 





. Sikhs 


Awbala Div. 














































































JO. 32) 


14,750 ' 






-. iiii.\i.innCi. i A. 







Jull under Div 


n n I i * ' 







































(3*. 95) 





















TABLE XII (contd.) 

Division or Area 
Districts (Sq. Miles) 








Lahore Dlv. 
























































(19. VI) 












































41,99,658 y 










Rawalpindi Div. 



















































































































Multan Div. 









9,18,564 < 


1 -,75,064 
















2,6?,, 737 

4 1,807 






























61 ,626 



















! (12.70) 





Dera Qbazikhan 

















Balflcb Trans 





* 40,084 



frontier Traot 


















c (815) 


Total of the 

















Muslim and Non-Muslim Districts of the Punjab 
and their Population by Communities 

Division or Area 
District (Sq. Miles) 

Muslim Majority Dta. 

Total Hindus 

47,00,958 4,14,670 

63,65,817 '8,84,355 

58,04,135 9,84,284^ 






. 28,876 

















Multan Dn 

Labofe Dn. 
ex Awritaar 




63,775 1 






Hon-Muelim Majority Dta. 
imbala Dn. 14,750 

Jullandar Dn. 18,993 
Amritaar Dt. 1,572 
















35, 51* 1 


(0.57) (17.96) 











Before analysing the figures given in the above table it is worth 
noting that under ' Others ' are included AdidhaVmis, Jains, Parsis, 
Jews and those who returned no specified religion or comwttity. 
Of these the most numerous are the Adidharmis, who according to 
the Census Commissioner though included in scheduled castes do 
not claim to be Hindus and are hence recorded separately not only 
from the Hindus but also from the scheduled castes. They number 
343*685 or 1.21 per cent of the total population of the Punjab. They 
are concentrated very largely in the Jullunclar Division where their 
number is 2,50,267 or 4.60 per cent of the population of that Divi- 
sion. Their next largest concentrations are in the Multan Divi- 
sion and Lahore Division where they number 68,641 and 20,488 
respectively. Their number is negligible in the Ambala and Rawal- 
pindi Divisions, being only 2,795 an d 1,534 respectively. As has 
been pointed out in the Census Report of 1931 : ' The most notable 
feature of the present (1931) census from the stand-point of returns 
of religion has been the adoption of the term Adidharmi by nume- 
rous Chamars and Chuhras and other untouchables. At previous 
censuses Chuhras unless they returned some recognized religion 
were always included among Hindus/ s The 1941 Census Report 
also notes that all those who are recorded as Adidharmis belong to 
the scheduled castes but have not claimed to be Hindus. The last 
two censuses have thus succeeded in reducing the number of Hindus 
in the Province by excluding the Adidharmis from amongst ' them. 

Coming to a study of the census figures of the Punjab we find 
that unlike the other three Provinces of Sind, N.-W.F.P. and Balu- 
chistan where the Muslims are in overwhelming numerical majo- 
rity, being 70.75, 91.79, and 87.51 per cent respectively of the popu- 
lation, in the Punjab they constitute just a bare majority, being 


only 57.06 per cent of the population. Again unlike in those Pro- 
vinces they are not in a majority in every Division or district of the 
Punjab. On the other hand there are districts and Divisions in 
which non-Muslims are in overwhelming majority. The expression 
used in the Lahore Resolution of the League is simply 'numerically 
in a majority' without any qualifying* word indicating the extent 
of the majority. It is therefore equally open to the interpretations 
lhat the majority should be an overwhelming majority or a bare 
majority. But when one considers the object and the reason for 
which partition is sought one cannot but come to the conclusion 
that the majority contemplated must be an overwhelming and not 
a bare majority. The object of the separation is to give the Mus- 
lims an opportunity to develop according to their own notions. 
The reason for it is that they constitute a separate nation and as 
such differ from all others inhabiting this country in culture, social 
life and outlook, a$id religion; and they should therefore have a 
separate homeland in which they would be supreme. Now with a 
bare majority the Muslims will not be able to develop according to 
their own notions when there will be a very strong minority not 
prepared to merge itself in them and in fact ever ready to assert its 
own inherent right to develop according to its oevn notions. If by 
reason of a separate religion and consequent separate culture, social 
life and outlook, a bare majority has a right to a separate homeland, 
a minority which is only just a minority cannot in justice and fairness 
be denied the same right. It should be noted also that the Lahore 
Resolution recognizing that there are differences among the four 
North- Western Provinces inter se lays down that the constituent 
units^of the independent State shall be autonomous and sovereign. 
Leaving out of consideration for the moment the question as to 
what extent and how a constituent unit of a larger state can be 
sovereign and^confining ourselves to the question of the relationship 
that will subsist as between the constituent units, there can be no 
doubt that each unit will have to depend upon itself for its' internal 
administration. In other words, if the constitution of the Indepen- 
dent Muslin^ States is to be of a democratic nature by which I 
mean a constitution which gives to the citizens of the State without 
distinction of caste, creed, or colour the right to choose their own 
rulers and^ enables them thereby to run the administration 'accord- 
ing to the ideas and wishes of those citizens then it will in practice 
be found to be most difficult, if not impossible, for a bare majority 
tp run the administration according to the notions of a bare nume- 
rical majority of Muslims in the State. It can, therefore, with 
perfect fairness and justice be claimed that the Province of the 
Punjab, as it is constituted today in which the Muslims form a bare 
numerical majority of 57 per cent, does not fulfil the test laid down 
by the Lahore Resolution and ?hould not and cannot be separated 


to become a constituent unit of the Independent Muslim State in 
the North- West. This result follows if we accept the proposition 
that in deciding what areas are to be separated we must take the 
whole Province as a unit of which the population has to be taken 
into consideration. It is, therefore, with good reason that ' A Pun- 
jabi ? in his book Confederacy of India and Mr M. R. T. in an article 
have not taken the Province of the Punjab as a whole for making 
this calculation and have excluded portions from it in which accord- 
ing to them the Muslims are in a minority, 

1 If Ambala Division and Eastern Hindu and Sikh States are 
excluded from the Punjab, its population will be reduced from 28^ 
millions at present to 21 millions but the Muslim percentage will 
be raised from 55 per cent to 70. This Muslim percentage will fur- 
ther be raised if the entire Muslim North- West is taken together as 
a whole. With the eastern frontier modified as proposed, the 
North-West will have a total population of 35 millions of which 
Muslims will number 27 millions and non-Muslims 8 millions. The 
Muslim proportion of 77 per cent will be strong enough to ensure 
a permanent stable Government, and this result will be achieved 
without having recourse to any scheme of exchange of population.' 8 

' The question, of the eastern boundary of the Punjab constU 
tutes a matter of great importance and it is possible that Muslim 
opinion may, at some time, become divided over it : Some regarding! 
the River Jujmna or the Ridge separating the plain of the Jndusl 
from that of the Ganges as the natural boundary between this uniti 
of Indusstan and Hindu India in its east, and others believing thatj 
the said boundary should be so fixed as to exclude all the ^astern 
Hindu tracts of the Kangra district, some portions of the Hoshiar- 
pur district and the whole of the Ambala Division from the Punjab. 
Taking the former view first we can say that no doubt the River 
Jumna or the aforesai'd Ridge would form a geographically natural 
boundary between Hindu India and the Punjab unit of Indusstan 
but as the underlying motives of the formation of the Indus Re- 
gions 5 Federation are to reduce communalism by reducing the 
Hindu element in it and to safeguard the agricultural, industrial 
and cultural interests of the Muslims, the fixation of the easier* 
boundary at the River Jumna or the Ridge which runs in a soutlf i 
eastern ^direction parsing from Delhi to Aravali Parbat, will not 
help in the achievement of these objectives, for it would bring in oufr 
territories the overwhelmingly Hindu areas of the Chief Commis- 
sioner's Province of Delhi and the Ambala Division, etc.,* leading 
to the increase of the Hindu percentage in our population, a thing 
which will be detrimental to our own interests. Such a boundary 
will not allow us to seek cultural isolation from Hindu India. It 
will also increase our difficulties on account of th natural affinity of 

3. " India's Problem of her Future Constitution*" m>. 33-4. 


a large Hindu population within our territories with the Hindus, of 
the Hindu India. Their sympathies will always remain with their 
caste brethren of Hindu India. In view of this one weighty consi- 
deration it would be safer for us to accept the second opinion 
according to which no overwhelmingly Hindu tract should be in- 
cluded in our territories/ 4 ' The Muslims must, to begin with, press 
for the readjustment of the eastern boundary of the Punjab and 
stress the great need of excluding the aforesaid eastern Hindu 
tracts from it.' 5 

Taking another line of argument it cannot be seriously con- 
I ended even by the most ardent protagonists of Pakistan that any 
area in which the Muslims are not numerically in a majority should 
in justice and fairness be included in Pakistan. Any such demand 
will be not only inconsistent with and contrary to the clear words 
of the Lahore Resolution' the areas in which the Muslims are 
numerically in a majority 'but also unjust to the non-Muslim 
majority of those r areas and cannot fail to be interpreted by non- 
Muslims as an attempt to force Muslim rule on non-Muslims. Dr 
Syed. Abdul Latif, who was the first in the field with a scheme for 
division of India into cultural zones and for constitutionally safe- 
guarding the rights and interests of Muslims, writing about the 
scheme which was prepared by Sir Abdullah Haroon's Committee 
and which included in the North-Western Muslim State not only 
the whole of the Punjab but also the Province of Delhi and a part 
of Aligarh District, wrote in 1941 : 

' I am not satisfied with the demarcation of the North-West 
and North-East blocks as suggested in the Committee's Report. 
The Lahore Resolution aims at homogeneous and compact blocks 
or States with an overwhelming Muslim majority. But the Punjab 
and Aligarh members of your Committee through their imperia- 
listic designs over essentially non-Muslim areas would like to have 
a larger Punjab extending even to JUigarh covering all the non- 
Muslim states from Kashmir to Jaisalmir, which reduces the Mus- 
lim percentage to 55. In like manner they would include in the 
North-East block the whole of Bengal Assam and a district from 
Bihar which brings the percentage of MusaTmans down to 54. In 
my humble opinion this kind of demarcation is against the spirit 
and aim of the Lahore Resolution; because with 46 per cent non- 
Muslims in the North-East block and 42 per cent in the North- West 
block, you cannot call your states as Muslim States in any sense of 
llie term, nor style them as Muslim zones. I am not responsible for 
this demarcation as it was left entirely to the Punjab, Sind and U.P. 
, members. I would rather be content with smaller states where I 
can command at least an 80 per cent majority of Muslirns and call 

4. "Confederacy of India," by 'A Punjabi', pp. 243-4. 5. ibid., p. 246. ^ 


those states my own/ 6 

Although the Committee which had prepared this scheme 
ostensibly in accordance with the Lahore Resolution of the League 
had been formed by Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon, Kt, M.L.A., Chair- 
man, Foreign Sub-committee, All-India Muslim League, who had 
acted all through as its Chairman, and had formally submitted its 
report on the 23rdLE)ecember 1940, to the President of the League, 
the Committee and the scheme were repudiated by Mr Jinnah in 
a letter to Dr Latif dated I5th March 1941. 

Considered either from the point of view of Muslim interests 
as explained by Mr M. R. T. and ' A Punjabi ' in the quotations 
given above, or from the point of view of the non-Muslims who are 
in a majority in any areas sought to be included in the Muslim 
state, and who are bound to regard any such attempt as an impe- 
rialistic design of Muslims on essentially non-Muslim areas, the 
proposal for including any area with Muslims in a minority in it 
cannot justly and fairly be entertained or accepted, even if partition 
is conceded. 

Let us consider the position of the Punjab from this point 
of view which is essentially the point of view of the Lahore Reso- 
lution of the League. We find that the Multan Division of the 
Punjab which is contiguous to Sind and Baluchistan has a large 
Muslim majority of 75.41 per cent. The Muslims are in a majority 
in each district of this Division, their highest percentage in the 
population being 88.19 in the district of Dera Ghazikhan, if we 
leave out the Baluch Trans-Frontier Tract with a small total popu- 
lation of 40,246 of which 99.60 per cent are Muslims; and their 
lowest percentage in the population being 62.85 in Lyallpore 
district. Similarly in the Rawalpindi Division which is contiguous 
to the N.-W.F.P. the Muslims are in overwhelming majority, their 
percentage in the population being 85.52. Their highest percentage 
in the population of any single district of the Division is 90.42 in 
Attock district, and their lowest is 80.00 in Rawalpindi district. 
Thus if separation has to be effected, both these Divisions in their 
entirety can be claimed to come within the North- Western Muslim 
State on the basis of the Lahore Resolution. 

When we come to the Lahore Division the position becomes 
somewhat complicated. The percentage of Muslims in the popu- 
lation of the Division as a whole is only 58.18 which can by no 
means be called overwhelming and which hardly gives the Muslims 
the right to call it a Muslim zone. Further, they are actually in 
a minority in the district of Amritsar where they constitute only 
46.52 per cent of the population and are more or less evenly 
balanced in Gurdaspur district with a Muslim population of 51.14 
per cent. -Their highest population in that Division is 70.45 per 

6. " The Pakistan Issue," pp. 98-9. 


cent in the district of Gujranwala; and in the districts of Lahore, 
Sialkot and Sheikhupura, the Muslim percentage of the population 
is 60.62, 62,09 and 63.62 respectively. Applying the tests as dis- 
cussed above, Amritsar, with a Muslim minority, can under no 
circumstances be regarded as a Muslim zone. Similarly Gurdaspur 
can be claimed with as much justice by Muslims as by non-Muslims. 
If an overwhelming Muslim majority is not insisted upon then the 
other districts with Muslim majorities varying between 60 and 70 
per cent of the total population may be claimed by the Muslim 
State, if numbers are the only criterion to be considered. 

The position of Jullundar Division is clear. Here the Muslims 
constitute only 34.53 per cent of the population and in none of its 
districts are they in a numerical majority, their highest percentage 
being 45.23 in the district of Jullundar, and the lowest being as 
low as 4.81 in the district of Kangra. As a single community the 
Hindus have a percentage of 35.87 as against 34.53 of the Muslims 
in the Division as a whole, though in two districts, Jullundar and 
Ferozpur, out of five in the Division, Muslims have the largest 
percentage in the population, viz. 45.23 and 45.07 respectively. But 
even in these districts they are in a minority. The Jullundar Divi- 
sion does not, therefore, satisfy the test laid down by the Lahore 
Resolution of the League and cannot go with the districts of the 
Multan and Rawalpindi Divisions from which they are also cut off 
by districts of the Lahore Division coming in between. 

In the Ambala Division the Muslims constitute only 28.07 P er 
cent of the population and in no district of the Division more than 
33.56 per cent, which is their highest percentage in the district of 
Gurgaon. As against this the Hindus are 66.01 per cent in the 
Division, their highest percentage being 81.61 in the district of 
Rohtak and their lowest being 48.40 in the district of Ambala. It 
is thus clear that this Division or any of its districts cannot come 
within the North-Western Muslim Independent State, if. the test 
laid clown by the League itself is applied. 

We can now take the North- Western Zone as a whole. The 
position after excluding the areas which have to be excluded as 
shown above will be as given in Table xiv opposite. 

The position without excluding the predominantly non-Muslim 
areas of the Punjab will be that out of a total population of 
3,64,93,525 in the North-Western Independent State, the Muslims 
will be ,2,26,53,294 or 62.07 per cent. It is a question whether such 
a zone with this small Muslim majority can really be called a 
Muslim Zone. 



Population of Muslims in the N.-W. Zone from which Districts with 
non-Muslim Majorities are excluded 

Province Total Muslim Muslim 

Population Population Percentage 

Sind 45,35,oo8 32,08,325 70.75 

N.-W.F.P. 30,38,067 27,88,797 91.79 

Baluchistan 5,01,631 4>38,93O 87.51 

Punjab (excluding 

the Ambala & 

Jullundar Divs. & 

Amritsar Dt. of 

Lahore Div.) 1,68,70,900 1,23,63,669 73.28 

Total North- 
Western Zone 2,49,45,606 1,87,99,721 

II. The Eastern Zone 

Let us now turn to the Eastern Zone. Let us take Bengal : 
A glance at Table xv overleaf shows that in Burdwan Division 
the Muslims are in a small minority, being no more than 13.90 per 
cent of the population of that Division and in no single district of 
that Division is the percentage of their population more than 27.41, 
their lowest percentage being as low as 4.31. All the districts of 
the Division are bounded on all sides by predominantly non-Muslim 
districts of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa except the districts of Bir- 
bhum and Burdwan, which have on one side Bengal districts with 
Muslim majority while they too have predominantly non-Muslim 
districts on other sides. This Division does not fulfil any of the 
conditions laid down by the Lahore Resolution and cannot in any 
case be claimed for the Eastern Muslim Zone. 

The Presidency Division including the City of Calcutta has a 
minority of Muslims, their percentage being only 44.56 as against 
53.70 of the Hindus. But some of its districts have a Muslim majo- 
rity. These are Nadia, Murshidabad and Jessore where their per- 
centage in the population is 61.26, 56.55 and 60.21 respectively. In 
the other districts of 24-Parganas and Khulna their percentage is 
32.47 and 49.36 as against 65.32 and 50.31 of the Hindus alone. In 
Calcutta the Muslims are only 23.59 per cent or less than one-fourth 
of the total population as against 72.62 per cent of the Hindus 
alone. On the score of population the Division as a whole cannot 
belong to the Muslim zone; and if one goes jby the districts even 
then 24-Parganas, Calcutta and Khulna cannot go to it. So far as 
Calcutta is concerned, it is bounded on all sides by areas which are 

Population by Communities of Bengal 

Division or Area Total 
Districts (Sq. Miles) population 



Chrstns* Tribes 


Burdwan Div. 
































Bank ura 














































































Presidency Div. 

24 Parganaa 













Calcutta ' 


































































16, 402 












Rajshahi Div. 

































































Rangp t ur 
















































Ma Ida 





61 8 










CO. 01) 









9,228 7,76,729 

lfcil ll~.l>llllC 








TABLE XV (contd.) 

Division or Area Total Indian 

District (Sq, Miles) population Mas lime Hindus Chrstns, Tribes 
Dacca Div 










Hymens ing 


















Chlttaffong - 



























- 22,17,402 










(21 .27) 




Hill Tracts 













* 11*765 






. (54.73) 




Muslim and non-Muslim Districts of Bengal and their Population by Communities 

Division or 





District (Sq. Miles) population 



Chrstns. Tribes 


Non-Mas line 









































2,, 925 


















Rajahahi Div. 



Par jeeling & 





















Dacca Div. 





















Chittagong Div. 11, 765 












.(_2P_...?.py. t _ 





(1 .03) 


Total Muslia^ 
Majority Dte. 












Burdwan Div.v, 




















24 Parganas 








































Kb ulna 
















( (0. 










































(97. 53) 

Total Non- 

Muslim Majo- 












rity Dts, 






ip*.y) (6.11) 




predominantly non-Muslim and no adjustment of boundaries^ can 
convert it into a Muslim zone. All the districts of this Division 
touch non-Muslim districts and also touch districts with Muslim 
majorities with the exception of Calcutta which does not touch any 
Muslim area on any side of it. 

In the Rajshahi Division, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts 
have a small minority of Muslims, their percentage in the popula- 
tion being 23.08 and 2.42; while the district of Dinajpur is on the 
border line, having a Muslim population of 50.19 per cent only. The 
other districts of the Division have Muslim majorities, their highest 
percentage in the population being 83.93 in the district of Bogra 
and the lowest 56.78 in the district of Malda. The districts of Jal- 
paiguri and Darjeeling with such small Muslim populations cannot 
in fairness be claimed as Muslim zones and even the district of 
Dinajpur with just 50 per cent of Muslims can hardly be described 
or claimed as a Muslim zone. 

The position of Dacca Division is different. Here the Muslims 
are 71.59 per cent' of the population and in each district in this 
Division they are in a majority, their highest percentage in the 
population being 77.44 in the district of Mymensingh and the 
lowest being 64.78 in the district of Faridpur. 

Similarly in the Chittagong Division the Muslims have a 
majority, their percentage in the population being 75.40, They are 
also in a majority in the districts of the Division except in the 
Chittagong Hill Tracts where they are only 2.94 per cent of the 
population. The majority in the Hill Tracts consists of Tribes who 
constitute 94.47 per cent of the population. 

If we take the Province of Bengal as a whole as it is at present 
constituted, consisting of the five Divisions of Burdwan, Presi- 
dency, Rajshahi, Dacca and Chittagong, the percentage of Muslims 
in the population of the Province is 54.73 which cannot fairly entitle 
Muslims to call it a Muslim zone and claim it for a separate Muslim 
Slate with independent status. No Government of a representative 
type can be stable in this Slate, and there is no reason why 54.73 
per cent of the population should enforce their will on the rest in 
such a fundamental matter as the separation of the area from the 
rest of India of which it has been an integral part since as/ar back 
as the memory of man can reach. 

If we take the districts, then the districts of Burdwan Division 
have tb be excluded from the Muslim Zone and so also the districts 
of 24-Parganas, Khulna and Calcutta of the Presidency Division. 
The districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling with large non-Muslim 
majorities have also to be excluded and the district of Dinajpur as 
stated above falling just on the boundary line may be claimed with 
equal justice by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The other 
districts of the Rajshahi Divisfon as also the districts of Dacca and 


Chittagong Divisions with the exception of Chittagong Hill Tracts 
which have Muslim majorities may very well be claimed as falling 
within the Muslim Zone according to the Muslim League Reso- 

Assigning the doubtful district of Dinajpur and the Chittagong 
Hill Tracts to the Muslim Zone the position in the Muslim and non- 
Muslim districts of Bengal will be as shown in Table XVI, p. 249. 

The position in both the zones will be changed to some extent 
if the districts of Dinajpur and the Chittagong Hill Tracts are 
excluded from the Muslim Zone. 

It will be noticed that in the Muslim zone as shown above the 
Muslims will constitute 70.09 per cent, the Hindus 27.79 P er cent, 
and the Tribes 1.72 per cent of the population. In the non-Muslim 
zone the Hindus will be 70.70 per cent or slightly, more than the 
Muslims in the Muslim zone; and the Muslims 22.21 per cent or 
much less than the Hindus in the Muslim zone and the Tribes con- 
stitute 6. 1 1 per cent of the population. The total population of 
the Tribes in the Province as a whole comes to 18,89,389 or 3.13 
per cent of the total population. Their position has to be consider- 
ed separately and^I shall deal with it when dealing with the figures 
of Assam, as the problem arises there even more prominently than 
in Bengal and as the same principles govern it. 

We shall now consider the position in Assam. 

Looking at the tables given overleaf it is difficult to understand 
on what basis the Province of Assam is claimed as a Muslim zone. 
In the Province as 1 a whole the Muslims are only 33.73 per cent as 
against the Hindus who are 41.29 per cent of the population. If 
we take the districts, then Sylhet is the only district in which the 
Muslims are 60.71 per cent of the population. In no other district 
do they constitute a majority of the population although in the 
districts, of Cachar and Goalpara they are the most numerous as a 
single community, being 36.33 per cent and 46.23 per cent of the 
population respectively. The utmost that can b^ fairly claimed as a 
Muslim zone is the district of Sylhet, although a majority of 60.71 
per cent can hardly be called an overwhelming majority. In some 
of the smaller districts the Tribes are in an overwhelming majority, 
while in others where the Hindus do not by themselves constitute 
a majority, the Tribes and the Hindus together constitute the 
majority. In eight out of fourteen districts of the Province the per- 
centage of Muslims is less than 5, in three less than I. As the 
claim of the Muslim League to any area is based on Muslims being 
numerically in a majority in that area, it cannot stand where they 
are not in such majority, although they may be the most numerous 
as a single' community in that area the majority being formed of 
a combination of other communities. No other community as such 

Population by Communities of Assam 

Division or Area Total 

Oil trie U (Sq, Miles) population 

Surma Valley & Hill Div. 

Muslim Hindus Chrstna. Tribea Other* 



6, VI, 181 
























Kinai and 

3, 353 







Jaintia Uilla 






Naga Kills 













Luahai Hilla 


























fseam Valley Div. 

i ii i i w 

















12, 64,200 































































Oaro R1U0 











. (88.77) 













r .(29.74) 


Sadiya Fron-* 









tier Tract* 






Balipara Fron- 








tier Tracts 




(58. #> 


Total Aeaaft 









__ ______ 






Muslim and Non-Muslim Districts of Assam and their Population by Communities 

Div ia ions or Area Total Total 

Dietricts (Sq.Milee) population Mualime Hindus Chratna. Tribes Other* Non-Muslim* 
Maelim Majority Dts. 

Sylhet 5,4?8 31,16,602 18,92,11? 11,49,514 3,055 69,90? 2,009 12,24,485 

Non-Muslim Majority Dta. ( 6o 7D (36.88) (0.09) (2.24) (0.06) (39.2?) 

Whole Aaaam 

txcluding 49,473 70,38,131 15,50,333 30,63,709 37.755 24,15,089 21,216 55,37,769 

Sylhet " - - 

'>v,xvt% >vw,y, f v,7 /rfy> C-TjI^jW? fci,fciu SJtSftfV 

(21.8?) (43.22) (0.53) (34.0?) (0.30) (78.13) 



Distribution of main Communities in Assam at the Censuses of 
1901, 1911, 1921, 1931 and 1941 

Total Number per 10,000 of the Population 

Province Pop jjj5 xon Hindua Muslims "*T?lbei 

'* H ' 191*1 1931 1921 1911 1901 19^1 1931 1921 1911 *901 19**1 1931 1921 1911 1901 

Aeaa flh 1,02,04,733 ^29 5720 5'*33 5^18 5578 3373 3196 2896 2810 2689 2^35 825 1**79 1652 1652 

Statea 7,25,655 ^516 4362 59V 5816 5996 ^36 393 *55 ^9 365 ^674 4^91 5^*33 3758 3632 

ie!!* 1,09,30,388 M5^ 5628 5^1 5W 5598 3178 3007 2778 2693 2581 298^4 1073 1573 175? 1?W 

has claimed separation from the rest of India and as a matter of 
fact others have opposed the idea of such separation. It is therefore 
on the strength of the Muslim majority alone that the League can 
put forward such a claim. 

In this connexion it is necessary to consider the position of the 
Tribes. Table xix above will show how the number of Hindus 
in the Pjovince has been brought down by adopting the tribal origin 
instead of the religion of a large number of persons recorded under 
the head of Tribes as the basis for classification. We shall also see 
how the number of Muslims has increased in the Province. 

It will be noticed that the population of Hindus has dropped 
from 57.20 per cent in 1931 to 41.29 per cent in 1941 in British 
Assam and from 56.28 to 41.54 per cent in Assam as a whole includ- 
ing the states, while that of the Tribes has increased from 8.25 per 
cent to 24.35 P er cen * * n British Assam and from 10.73 P er cen t to 
25.84 per cent in Assam as a whole between the 1931 and 1941 
censuses. This sudden and large discrepancy is explained by Mr 
K. W. P. Marar, I.C.S., Superintendent of Census Operations in 
Assam in '1941, as follows : 

' The essential point is that the table shows the community 
origin, not the religious attribution. Hadjtjme andjfinaaces^er- 
other ^details could have been gl^jx^ 
in this truncated census this was not possible. Community 
ion may seem to many as one and the same and insepa- 
rable, and are in fact so in most cases. But where there are tribes, 
community and religion need not always be the same and in the 
present census they have all been classified on the basis of com- 
munity and not of religion. Thus a Khasi returning himself as a 
Hindu, Christian, Muslim, or Animist at the last census would have 
been classified under any of those headings of religion according 
to the faith he professed or attributed to him, but this time he has 
been classified as a Khasi. This is the main reason for the great 
apparent fall in the proportion, in the whole population of Chris- 
tians and to a less extent of Hindus and Buddhists. At the same 


time there is more than a corresponding increase in the proportion 
of the tribal people. ... If the figures be examined in the light of 
what is stated above they will be found to disclose no " alarming " 
tendencies. All the communities have shown natural increase in 
varying degrees and in no district have the pre-existing communal 
proportions been disturbed to any appreciable extent except by 

1 There is no question of removal of Hindus or of Christians. 
A separate note on Christians follows and Hindus are present in 
the same proportions as before; in the absence of caste or religion 
sorting the 1931 practice would have meant that no record of the 
number of persons of tribal origin, which is so important a matter 
in Assam and represents one of the reasons for the extensive re- 
served areas in that province, would have been forthcoming.' 7 

One need not quarrel with the idea of recording persons of 
tribal origin in a separate column, if at the same time their religion 
was also recorded. As the Census Superintendent says, ' the 
Hindus are present in the same proportions as before ', but a glance 
at the tables showing their numbers and proportions gives an 
entirely wrong and misleading picture of the position. The 
Census Superintendent after giving the above, explanation re- 
garding the great fall in the number of Christians and Hindus 
has taken pains to ascertain, as far as he could even in the 
truncated census of 1941, the number of Christians. He gives 
the estimated number of Christians in Assam as a whole 
British and States to be 3,86,000, although the number recorded 
as Christians is no more than 67,184, the remaining 3,19,000 being 
only an estimate of tribal Christians prepared on the basis of the 
1931 figures. Thus while a more or less accurate picture of the 
number of Christians in the Province is given in the Report, the 
reader is left to be content, with regard to the number of Hindus, 
with the vague proposition stated in a note that they ' are present 
in the same proportions as before/ 

^Mr M. W. M. Yeatts, C.I.E., I.C.S., Census Commissioner for 
India in 1941, after explaining the necessity for the change intro- 
duced in the Census of 1941 of recording the tribal origin of persons 
as distinguished from the religion which they professed, goes on : 
' The fact is of course that while between Islam or Christianity and 
other religions there exists as it w r ere a definite wall or fence over 
which or through which the convert must go, there is nothing be- 
tween what is usually though vaguely described as animism and the 
equally vague and embracing concept of Hinduism but a very wide 
no man's land; and the process by which a Tribesman is assimilated 
to a Hindu is not that of conversion or the acceptance of a particular 
creed or joining in a definitely marked out section of the population, 

7. " Census of India," 1941, Volume I?C-' Assam,' Tables, pp. 21-2. 


but a more or less gradual traversing of this no man's land. The 
traverse may and generally does occupy more than one generation 
and it would take an expert to say at what period and in which 
generation more than half the no man's land had been crossed so 
that one could say that the assimilation was more than half com- 
pleted It is in this light therefore that the community tables and 

the subsidiaries which give ratios should be examined. Viewed 
thus, the position emerges that in British India 64^ per cent of the 
population are Hindus, 27 Muslims, i Indian Christians. Persons 
of tribal origin represent 5^2 per cent. Of this 5^2 per cent ap- 
proximately one-twentieth fall within the Christians on a religion 
basis. The remainder can be regarded as in greater or less degree 
of assimilation towards the Hindu majority. At one end there is 
in continued existence a tribal way of life. At the other there is 
more or less complete assimilation. In between there is every 
degree in the continuous process represented by the transition. The 
degree differs for each province and state and as I have stressed is 
a matter for local estimation/ 8 

Again : ' Allowing for the tribal classification question there- 
fore one could say that the Hindu-Muslim proportions in 'Bengal 
are practically unaltered from 1931 . . .The Bihar, Central Provinces 
and Assam figures of course bring* in the tribal classification and 
assimilation question in a fairly marked degree, but if the religion 
allocations of 1931 were repeated as a basis for community classifi- 
cation the effect would be of a fractional drop in the percentage of 
Hindus/ 9 

That the Tribes have more in common with Hindus than with 
any other religious group is the opinion of competent authorities, 
and the process of assimilation has been going on from time imme- 
morial. Assimilation of tribes to Hinduism has been achieved on a 
colossal scale in the centuries and millennia that have elapsed and 
that without any apparent or violent breach with their past. It is 
therefore only just that their number should be counted with the 
Hindus, at any rate, in the case of those who declare themselves as 
Hindus as used to be done in the censuses previous to 1941. 

Mr^Verrier Elwin, M.A. (Oxon),.F.R.A.L, F.N.I., who has 
been living among the tribes in the Central Province for years and 
studying them and their culture, was the President of the section 
of Anthropology and Archaeology at the thirty-first session of the 
Indian Science Congress which was held at Delhi in January 1944. 
He chose Truth in Anthropology' as the subject of his presidential 
address and laid stress on the very great need of a high standard of 
truth in all our field work in order that the science of Anthropology 
may be established in India. He says : * It is necessary to stress 

8. " Census of India," 1941, Vol. I~< India/ pp. 28-9. 

9. ibid., p. 30. 


this, for Anthropology is regarded with some suspicion in India. 
There are several reasons for this. The attempt of certain scholars 
and politicians to divide the aboriginal tribes from the Hindu com- 
munity at the time of census created the impression that science 
could be diverted to political and communal ends. In earlier years 
the census authorities tried to distinguish animism and Hinduism. 
Later the expression " Followers of Tribal Religions " was used. 
The test proposed was to ask a person whether he worshipped 
Hindu or tribal gods. This test was meaningless. The religion 
of the aboriginals in Peninsular India at least is obviously of the 
Hindu family, Hinduism itself having many elements which a theo- 
logian would call animistic. In the religious columns, therefore, 
the aboriginals should have been returned from the beginning as 
Hindus. Any other classification was worse than useless. It is 
very difficult even for a trained theologian to decide the exact des- 
cription of the religion of the various tribes. It is obviously im- 
possible for an illiterate and ignorant enumerator to do so. What 
we want to know is how many aboriginals there are in India so 
that we can insist that they have a square deal in the counsels of 
tlie country. But now we know accurately neither the religious 
nor racial situation, and the unfortunate fact that a number of an- 
thropologists interested themselves in the complicated business of 
deciding the exact way in which aboriginals should be distinguished 
from the Hindu religion has done our science harm in public esti- 

The effect of all this mishandling by the census authorities has 
been, as admitted by them in the quotations given above, to reduce 
considerably the number of Hindus and their proportion in the 
population of some of the Provinces and States and of India as a 
whole. As pointed out by Mr Yeatts, the Census Commissioner 
of India : ' The Muslim figure can be regarded as practically un- 
affected by the tribal origin question and here we have the record of 
gradual increase which previous decades had already presented and 
for which the reasons have been discussed at some length in the 
reports of these years. The Bengal component is practically un- 
altered and the Punjab onejincreased by about y 2 or i per cent. The 
most noticeable rise is in Assam and once again represents migra- 
tion from Mymensingh and East Bengal generally.' 11 

Table xix on p. 253 shows the proportions of the important 
elements in the population of Assam. The sudden decrease in the 
number of Hindus has been explained above. It will be noticed that 
the proportion of Muslims has gone on steadily increasing. In 
1901 they formed only 26.89 per cent of the population of British 

10. "Proceedings of the Thirty-first Indian Science Congress, Delhi," 1944, p. 91. 

11. " Census of India," 1941, Vol. I-' India/ Tables, p, 29. 


Assam while by 1941 their percentage had increased to 33.73. This 
increase is due to a large extent to immigration of Muslims from 
East Bengal, particularly from the district of Mymensingh to the 
districts of Assam. The Census Report of 1931 has devoted a 
whole chapter to the discussion of the question of immigration and 
has pointed out that there are three main currents of migration into 
Assam, viz.: (i) immigration to Assam tea gardens; (ii) immigra- 
tion of Eastern Bengal colonists; (iii) immigration of Nepalis. 
Mr C. S. Mullan, M.A., I.C.S., the Census Superintendent for < 
Assam, 1931, points out that 'at the present census however there 
has been a considerable change. From Bengal immigrants have 
continued to pour into Assam as in the previous decade but in the 
case of the cooly recruiting provinces the stream has not flowed at 
the old rate/ 12 It is necessary to give here a pretty long quotation 
from the Census Report of Assam regarding the immigration of 
Eastern Bengal colonists into Assam. 

' Probably the most important event in the province during the 
last twenty- five years an event, moreover, which seems likely to 
alter permanently the whole future of Assam and to destroy more 
surely than did the Burmese invaders of 1820 the whole struct ure'of 
Assamese culture and civilization has been the invasion of a vast 
horde of land-hungry Bengali immigrants, mostly Muslims, from 
the districts of Eastern Bengal and in particular from Mymensingh. 
This invasion began some time before 1911, and the Census Report 
of that year is the first report which makes mention of the advanc- 
ing host. But, as we now know, the Bengali immigrants censused 
for the first time on the chur lands of Goalpara in 1911 were merely 
the advance guard or rather the Scouts of a huge army following 
closely at their heels. By 1921 the first army corps had passed into 
Assam and had practically conquered the district of Goalpara. The 
course of 'events between 1911 and 1921 has been described in the 
1921 Census Report as follows : 

'"in 1911 few cultivators from Eastern Bengal had gone 
beyond Goalpara, those censused in the other districts of Assam 
Valley numbering only a few thousands and being mostly clerks, 
traders and professional men. In the last decade (1911-21) the 
movement has extended far up the Valley and the colonists now 
form an appreciable element in the population of all the four lower 
and central districts, the two upper districts (i.e. Sibsagar and 
Lakhimpur) are scarcely touched as yet. In Goalpara nearly 20 
per cent of the population is made up of those settlers. The next 
favourite district is Nowgong where they form about 14 per cent of 
the whole population. In Kamrup waste lands are being taken up 
rapidly, specially in the Barpeta sub-division. In Darrang explo- 
ration an4 settlement by the colonists are in an earlier stage, they 

12. "Census of India," 1931, Vol. Ill, ' Assafh Report,' Part I, p. 44. 



have not yet penetrated far. from the banks of the Brahmaputra. . . 
Almost every train and steamer brings parties of those settlers and 
it seems likely that their march will extend further up the Valley 
and away from the river before long/' 

' Let us now examine the progress of the invasion since 1921. 
It must in the first place be remembered that the children of the 
settlers born after their arrival in Assam have been recorded as 
Assam-born and hence do not appear in the figures and that the 
, table below shows the total number of the people born in Bengal 
and not the number of settlers only; still the figures give us a very 
good idea of what has been taking place during the last ten years : 


Number of Persons born in Bengal in each District of the Assam Valley 
in 1911, 1921 and 1931 

(MS=Mymensingh District ; OOO's omitted) J 

Yar Goalpara Kamrup Darrang Nowgong Sibflagar Lakhinpur 

1911 77(MS 3*0 *f(MS 1) 7(MS 1) *(MS 1) 1*f(MS Mil) 1t(MS Nil) 


1921 15KMS 78) <f<*(MS 30) 20(MS 12) 58(MS 52) 1MMS Nil) 1MMS Nil) 

1931 170CMS 80) 13<f(MS 91) VI (MS 30) 120(MS 108) 12(MS Nil) 19(MS 2) 

' In the above table the figures for Mymensingh district have 
been given in brackets as that district is the one which is chiefly 
responsible for the flood of immigrant settlers. 

' These are startling figures and illustrate the wonderful rapi- 
dity with which the lower districts of the Assam Valley are becom- 
ing colonies of Mymensingh ... I have already remarked that by 
1921 the first army corps of the invaders had conquered Goalpara. 
The second army corps which followed them in years 1921-31 has 
consolidated their position in that district and has also completed 
the conquest of Nowgong. The Barpeta sub-division of Kamrup 
has also fallen to their attack and Darrang is being invaded, 
Sibsagar has so far escaped completely but the few thousand My- 
mensinghias in North Lakhimpur are an outpost which may, during 
the next decade, prove to be a valuable basis of major operations.... 

' The exact number of these Eastern Bengal settlers (including 
their children born in Assam), who are at present living in the 
Assam Valley is a difficult matter to estimate. Mr Lloyd in 1921 
estimated that including children, born after their arrival in this 
province, the total number of settlers was at least 300,000 in that 
year. As far as I can judge the numbeer at present must be over 
half a million. The number of new immigrants from Mymensingh, 
alone, has been 140,000 and old settlers have undoubtedly been 
increasing and multiplying. As pointed out in the Census Report 
for 1921, the colonists have settled by families and not singly. This 
can be seen from the fact that out of the total of 338,000 persons 


born in Mymensingh and censused in Assam over 152,000 are 
\vomen. What of the future? As far as can be foreseen the invasion 
is by no means complete ; there are still large areas of waste land in 
Assam particularly in the North Lakhimpur sub-division and 
Kamrup, in spite of the large number of immigrants, which it has 
absorbed during the last ten years, is capable of holding many more. 
The Mangladai sub-division is also capable of further development. 
Now that most of the waste lands of Goalpara and Nowgong have 
been taken up, the trend of immigration should, therefore, be more, 
and more towards Kamrup, Mangladai and North Lakhimpur. The 
latter sub-division should prove a veritable " El-Dorado ", if news 
of its empty spaces awaiting the hoe and plough of the colonists 
reaches the ears of the main body of trckkers. 

' It is sad but by no means improbable that in another 30 years 
Sibsagar district will be the only part of Assam in which an Assa- 
mese will find himself at home/ 18 

The Census Report of 1941 completes the story with a short 
but significant sentence quoted above ' The most noticeable rise 
[in the Muslim population] is in Assam and once again represents 
migration from Mymensingh and East Bengal generally/' 14 * 

This policy of colonization of Assam by the Muslims of Bengal 
was continued under the joint auspices of the Muslim League 
Ministries of Sir Saadullah in Assam and Sir Nazimuddin in Ben- 
gal, as the following Bengal Government communique published in 
the Press, in the last week of October 1944, shows : 

4 The Government of Assam in their resolution dated the 2ist 
June 1940 prohibited settlement of land with persons coming from 
outside the province after the ist January, 1938. This decision 
affected the border districts like Mymensingh from where large 
numbers of agriculturists go to Assam in search of agricultural land 
on account of heavy pressure on such lands in this province. During 
the last session of the Bengal Legislative Council a motion was 
carried for presenting anTddress to His Excellency requesting him 
to urge upon the Government of India to take immediate steps so 
that all existing restrictions imposed by the Government of Assam 
orfcultivators from their province in getting settlement of land in 
the Assam Valley might be removed. Accordingly, the Govern- 
ment of Bengal requested the Government of Assam to withdraw 
or suspend the restrictions imposed by the said Resolution in the 
interest of inter-provincial amity and as a measure of relief to the 
distressed people of Bengal. 

' The Government of Assam have stated in reply that the policy 
regarding settlement of lands with immigrants has since been libe- 
ralised and that they are trying their level best to accelerate the 

13. "Census of India," 1931, Vol. Ill, "Assam Report," Pan I, pp. 49*52. 

14. " Census of India," 1941, Vol. I- 1 India,* Tables, p. 29. 


process by de-reserving surplus lands in the professional grazing 
reserves in certain districts. The Government of Assam are, how- 
ever, unable to abolish the restrictive measures wholly, particularly 
in areas where the tribal people are numerous, as these people are 
apprehensive of the near approach of immigrants as a result of 
which many of them suffered in the past, but that Government have 
given an assurance that they will continue the process of gradual 
abolition of the restrictions and to open up fresh areas for immi- 
v grant settlement as far as is consistent with the necessity for reser- 
vation of lands for indigenous people and protection of the tribal 

It is only necessary to make it clear that in doing so the Saa- 
dullah ministry went back on the decision of the late Governor of 
Assam, Sir Robert Reid, who after reviewing the land settlement 
policy had withdrawn a Development Scheme of Sir Saadullah's 
previous ministry. SiiJRobert Reid gays in a recent article : ' The 
indigenous Assam tribes who originally populated the area [Assam 
Valley] have been .largely reinforced, not to say overrun, by a 
stream of vigorous Muhammadan immigrants from Mymensingh 
in Bengal. This gives satisfaction to the Muslim, but not the 
Hindu community, for the more Muhammadans yen have in Assam, 
the "stronger the case for Pakistan/ 15 The attack now is not only 
on the land falling out of the line in the system popularly known as 
the Line System whereby immigrants were confined to areas where 
they would not disturb the interests of the established population 
but also on what are known as the professional grazing reserves, 
whose sanctity has remained inviolate until recently ever since the 
beginning of the British rule, by de-reserving portions of such 
Reserves. It ig in regard to these Reserves that the communique 
says that the Assam Government have given an assurance that they 
will continue the process of gradual abolition of restrictions and to 
open up fresh areas for immigrant settlement. 

There is.thus a pincer movement against the Hindus of Assam 
the significance of which cannot be lost aa, tke Hindus and 
Bribes alike one encouraging Muslims from Eastern Bengal, 
particularly ^Mymensingh district, to migrate into Assam and to 
take possession of land whicli the inhabitants of the areas concerned 
need for their own expansion and can ill-afford to lose ; arid the 
other separating the Tribes from the Hindus so as to reduce the 
number of the latter and thus convert them in course of time to a 
minority or at least to present a picture in which no single commu- 
nity can be said to constitute a majority in the Province as a whole. 
The irony of the situation is that the enumeration of Tribes sepa- 
rately is justified by Mr Yeatts, the Census Commissioner of 1941, 

the ' mmgra0n n -lished in 


on the ground that it was necessary to obtain full figures of persons 
of tribal origin for whose benefit Sections 91 and 92 of the Govern- 
ment of India Act were enacted, and reserved or partially reserved 
areas'^ for which Governors had special responsibilities, were creat- 
ed. 16 How these special responsibilities are being given effect to 
in regard to lands in Assam is apparent from the following quota- 
lion from a Report of Mr S. P. Desai, an experienced l.C.S. Officer 
of Assam : * The Assam Land and Revenue Regulation is, so far as 
the immigrant encroachers are concerned, virtually non-existent. 
The immigrants openly claim to have short-circuited the local staff 
and officers. Every day new bamboo sheds and temporary huts are 
springing up in the reserves. I found that the immigrants abso- 
lutely ignored the local officers (from the Sub-divisional Officers 
downwards) so much so that they did not even answer questions 
put to them. The few Nepali graziers and Assamese Pamuas find- 
ing no protection from anywhere give " dohai " in the name of the 
King-Emperor. To this some of the thoughtless among the immi- 
grants are said to have replied that the immigrants themselves are 
the King. Verily the cup of humiliation for the Assamese is full. 
They feel that the law is meant for them and not for the immi- 
grants, that the Government which is the custodian and trustee of 
their interests has failed them. All sections of the local population 
are greatly perturbed and their talk exhibits deep-seated bitter- 

ness/ 17 

Encouraged by the policy of the Muslim League Ministry and 
assisted by the immigrant members of the Legislative Assembly, 
these invading hordes of immigrants began to indulge in various 
acts of lawlessness and oppression such as maiming of cattle and 
buffaloes, riotous assaults on the graziers accompanied sometimes 
even by murder. This naturally raised resentment and indignation 
throughout the country. In the session of the Legislative Assembly 
held in November 1944, the Government was severely criti- 
cized by the Opposition party which appeared in the Legislature 
as a body for the first time after two and a half years with other 
coalitionists. A suggestion was thrown out to Sir Muhammad 
Saadullah to convene a conference where the whole question of 
Land Settlement might be considered and action might be taken by 
Government in order to remove the grave discontent among the 
people. The Governor himself addressed the Assembly on this 
subject, wishing peace and amity betwe'en the communities. Sir 
Muhammad accepted the offer of the opposition; and accordingly a 
conference was held in December 1944. In the conference the 
whole question of land settlement was examined in reference to 

16. "Census of India," 1941, Vol. I, * India/ Tables, p. 28. 

17. Quoted in ' The Background of Immigration into Assam ' published in the " Hindu- 
stan Standard," Dtd. 19th December 1944. ' 


two main points : (i) the adoption of a policy of planned settlement 
of waste lands with landless people of the soil along with the immi- 
grants, who were unduly favoured hitherto, and of protection to 
the Tribal people in belts to be specially reserved for them; and 
(ii) to maintain the integrity of the Grazing Reserves by eviction 
of trespassers therefrom. But the resolution which was adopted 
by Government in January 1945 after the conference did not include 
the safeguards agreed upon in the conference and in some particu- 
lars went against the fundamentals of the decisions of the confe- 
rence itself. For example, the decision of the conference was that 
the claim to waste land would be confined only to immigrants who 
came to Assam before 1938 ; but in the Government resolution 
exceptions were made in case of certain kinds of encroachers into 
the Grazing Reserves who came even after 1938, and wide discretion 
was given to the local officers ' to keep in possession encroachers 
who had been in occupation of and cultivating land in the grazing 
reserves over three years/ As regards settlement of waste land, 
any person having frve bighas of land was not considered entitled 
to any settlement; and as most of the indigenous cultivators had 
such "quantity of land but not enough for an economic holding, this 
clause operated as a serious disqualification to their getting settle- 
ment. Similarly the area which was to have been reserved for the 
Tribal people was not defined, leaving room for much uncertainty 
and confusion. The matter was again taken up by the Assembly in 
its Budget session in March 1945. By this time the Opposition had 
gained some strength and Sir Muhammad Saadullah, evidently 
afraid of a defeat and resignation, entered into an agreement with 
the Opposition. He agreed to remove his old Muslim League 
Revenue Minister, and actually took a nominee from the Opposition 
in his place. After the prorogation of the Assembly, however, Sir 
Saadullah instead of implementing the agreement as early as pos- 
sible took as much as three months' time merely to frame and 
publish the new resolution. The report now is that he and other 
Muslim League ministers of his cabinet are putting all manner of 
obstruction in the execution of the policy agreed to by him. It is 
also being reported that the Muslim League leader Mr Mohammad 
Ali Jinnah is issuing for adoption by the Cabinet instructions .which 
go against the basic policy of the agreement. In the meantime the 
dissolution of the Assembly is in sight, and there is no knowing how 
the whole situation will shape hereafter. 18 

In spite of all this, however, the Hindus are still in larger 
numbers in the Province as a whole than the Muslims. If the 
Tribes are added to the Hindus, then, so combined they constitute' 
a larger majority. It may be noted that the League Resolution 

18. It should be noted that this was written in the latter half of 1945. 


lays down that the constituent units of the two zones shall be auto- 
nomous and sovereign. It is unintelligible how Assam with a non* 
Muslim majority and with only 33.73 per cent Muslims in its popu- 
lation can be an ' autonomous and sovereign ' Muslim state. If 
anything it will be an autonomous and sovereign non-Muslim state 
in the Eastern zone. But if the Sylhet district with a Muslim 
majority is excluded the other districts of the Province and the 
district of Sylhet will stand as shown in Table XVIII on p. 252. 

But the ingenuity of the protagonists of Pakistan is in- 
exhaustible and Assam is claimed on various grounds. They are : 

(1) Because Assam is within the zone where Muslims are in 
a majority. 

(2) Because the majority of the non-Muslims in Assam are 
tribal people. * 

(3) Because the Muslims are in a majority in the Province. 
This conclusion is reached in the following manner. The Province 
of Assam has a population of one crore nine Ukhs, of whom only 
forty-five lakhs or 41.5 per cent are Hindus. The Hindus thus form 
a minority of the total population. Twenty-nine lakhs ot 26.7 'per 
cent of the total population are Tribal people who are unfit to live 
a civilized state life and in all constitutional discussion they have 
to be omitted. Constitutional rights, of minority, should belong to 
the civilized section of the population who are either Hindus or 
Muslims numbering eighty lakhs. In the tea gardens and oil 
mines of Assam a huge number of labour population is engaged ; 
but they are non-domiciled and migratory. This non-domiciled 
alien population should necessarily be omitted from constitutional 
consideration. Their total number is 15.2 lakhs. This number 
being deducted from the total, political rights are restricted to 65 
lakhs of people only. Hence the Muslims numbering 34.75 lakhs 
constitute the majority in the Province. 

(4) Agriculturists from bordering districts of Bengal are 
migrating and settling down in the uncultivated parts of Upper 
Assam. These agriculturists are mainly Muslims. To finance and 
cater for their needs middle class members, who are Hindus, are 
also settling among them as shopkeepers, traders, mahajans, doc- 
tors, 'etc. In one word Eastern Bengal districts are literally ex- 
panding to Assam. 

(5) ' Not only in the Province as a whole but also division by 
division the Muslims are in a majority. In the Surma Valley divi- 
sion Muslims constitute 51 per cent of the total population. Minus 
the tribal people Muslims are clear over 65 per cent of the people 
entitled to political rights. In the Assam -Valley districts Hindus 
constitutg 47 per cent of the total population and are thus clearly in 
a minority. As the migratory labour populations are almost all 


working in the Assam Valley and as they are all Hindus, the bona 
fide normal Hindu residents number only 12.98 lakhs. Here also 
Muslims form a majority of the total population who are entitled 
to political rights/ 19 

(6) Because Eastern Pakistan must have jjyiflickatJad for its 
huge population and Assam will give it scope for expansion. 

(7) Because Assam has abundant forest and mineral resources, 
coal, petroleum, etc. and Eastern Pakistan must include Assam in 
order to be financially and economically strong. 

(8) BecaTirse in Assam the majority ofTHe people are Bengali- 

Now let us consider these grounds 

No. i One would have thought that a Muslim zone is that in 
which Muslims are in a majority. But it seems a Muslim zone is 
something different and includes also a Province hi which they are 
in a minority which has to be included in Pakistan because it falls 
within the Muslim zone. 

No. 2 Majority of non-Muslims in Assam are not the Tribal 
people but Hindus, assuming for the sake of argument buMiot by 
any meaus conceding, that the Tribal people are not Hindus. 

Nos. 3 and 5 Taking the figures given by Mr Mujibur Rah- 
man, we see how the Tribal-population numbering' 29 Jakhs is not 
only separated from the Hindus but declared unfit for * civilized 
state life ' so that the ' civilized section ' of the population may fee 
reduced from 109 lakhs to 80 lakhs. Even then the Hindus who 
are forty-five lakhs constitute an absolute majority and are cer- 
tainly more numerous than the Mttsalmans who are only 34.75 
lakhs. The Hindus who work in tea gardens and oil mines num- 
bering 15.2 lakhs must further be deducted from the total, so that 
the Musalmans may be declared to constitute a majority. Assam is 
thus a province with a Muslim majority ! A more glaring jugglery 
of figures is difficult to imagine. 

The only fault in this reasoning is that if the same or a 'similar 
process of cutting down the number of Hindus is employed, the 
Hindus may be reduced to a minority in India as a whole, and thus 
the whole of India becomes Pakistan and no case is left for separat- 
ing the North-Western and 'North-Eastern zones from the rest of 
India and confining them to Pakistan. 

Nos. 4, 6 and 7 Assam has land and Musalmans need land. 
Assam has forests, mines, petroleum, coal and other natural re- 
sources and Pakistan needs them. Is not that enough ? Why 
should not Assam be included in Pakistan to satisfy the needs of 
Pakistan ? No Imperialist and colonial power has claimed domi- 
nation over other countries on any other ground. Why should 

19. Mujibur Rahman : " Eastern Pakistan : Its Population, Delimitation and Economics," 
quoted by H. N. Barua in " Reflections on A^sam-cum -Pakistan," pp. 82-3. 



Pakistan ? / We know further that India has not only to consent to 
a division hfiTalso to find and supply the wherewithal for the main- 
tenance of Pakistan] 

If as is now claimed the whole of the two British Provinces of 
Bengal and Assam are combined, the communal position in the 
Eastern Muslim zone will be as follows : 


Population by Communities of the Eastern Muslim Zone including 
Districts with non-Muslims majorities 







Other a 



























If we take only the districts with Muslim majorities in the two 
Provinces, the communal position in the Eastern Muslim zone will 

be as fellows 


Population by Communities in the Eastern Muslim Zone excluding 
Districts with non-Muslims majorities 









iniaa Districts 
with Mon-Mualim 









minus Districts 
with Non-Muslia 
(Dt. of Sylht) 








Total of 
laatsrn Zon 
with Muslim 
Majority in 
ach District 









The result thus of taking* the two Provinces of Bengal and 
As^am in their entirety is to reduce the already bare Muslim majo- 
rity of 54.73 per cent in Bengal into a nominal majority of 51.69 per 
cent while if the areas with non-Muslim majorities are separated, 
then tHe Muslim majority in Assam and Bengal, with each district 
having a Muslim majority, comes to 69.42. There is thus no Mus- 
lim Zone in the East properly so called if the two Provinces in their 
entirety are taken together, and in any case 69.42 per cent of Mus- 
lims in the Eastern Zone is much nearer the figure of, 75 percent 
mentioned by Mr Jinnah to Mr _ Chapman in the interview quoted 
above than 5i.69^jper"cent wKich will Be their percentage in the 
population if the two Provinces are taken in their entirety without 
excluding the portions with non-Muslim majorities. 


To sum up the position disclosed by the census figures we find 
the following : 

(1) In the Provinces of Sind, N.-W.F., and Baluchistan the 
Muslims are in a numerical majority in each Province and in each 
district of every Province. 

(2) In the Punjab they are numerically in a majority in each 
district of the Rawalpindi and Multan Divisions and also conse- 
quently in each of the two Divisions which comprise 12 districts 
and if we count the Baluch Frontier tract also as a district, then 
in 13 districts. 

(3) In the Lahore Division they are numerically in a majority 
but they are in minority in the district of Amritsar, their population 
being 46.52 per cent, and only in nominal majority in the district of 

(4) In the Jullundar Division they are in ''a minority, being 
only 34.53 per cent of the population as against 35.87 per cent 
Hindus and 24.31 per cent Sikhs. The position of the Hindus v/ill 
be improved considerably if the Adidharmis who belong to the 
Scheduled Castes are counted with them. 

* * (5)* In the Ambala Division the Muslims are numerically in a 
minority, being only 28.07 per cent as against tfee Hindus who are 
OO.oi per cent. 

(6) If we take the North-Western Region to comprise the 
four Provinces of Sind, N.-W.F., Baluchistan and the Punjab in 
their entirety, then the Muslim percentage will be 62.07. 

(7) If the Ambala and Jullundar Divisions and the Amritsar 
district of the Lahore Division are excluded and the North- Western 
Zone comprises only the three Provinces of Sind, N.-W.F., Balu- 
chistan and only that portion of the Punjab in which Muslims are 
in a majority, viz. the Rawalpindi and Multan Divisions and the 
Lahore Division minus the district of Amritsar, then the 'percentage 
of Muslims will be 75.36. 

(8) In the Eastern Zone the Muslims are in a numerical mino- 
rity in the Province of Assam, their percentage being only 33.73 as 
against 41.29 of the Hindus and 24.35 f the Tribes, the percentage 
of the Hindus going much above 50, if even that portion of the 
Tribes who ai*e completely assimilated with and declare themselves 
to be Hindus is added. In the single district of Sylhet the 'Muslim 
percentage is 60.71 ; in every other district they are in a minority. 

(9) In Bengal as a whole the Muslim percentage is 54.73. 

(10) In the Divisions of Chittagong and Dacca the Muslims 
are in a majority and so also in each of the districts of those Divi- 
sions except the Chittagong Hill Tracts^ 

( 1 1 ) In the Rajshahi Division as a whole they are in a majority 
but in the Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts of that Division they 
are in a minority, their percentage being 23.08 and 2.42 respectively 


in those districts. In the district of Dinajpur they are on the 
border-line, being only 50.20 per cent. 

(12) In the Presidency Division as a whole including Calcutta 
they are in a minority, being only 44.56 per cent as against 53.70 
per cent Hindus ; but in the districts of Nadia, Murshidabad and 
Jcssore they constitute a majority of the population, and are just 
less than half, being 49.36 per cent, in the district of Khulna. 

(13) If the Muslim zone in Bengal consists of only those dis- 
tricts in which the Muslims are in a majority, their percentage will 
be 70.09. 

(14) The percentage of Muslims in the districts in which they 
are in a minority will be 22.21. 

(15) If the two Provinces of Assam and Bengal in their en- 
tirety are combined to constitute the Eastern Zone, the Muslims 
will be 51.69 per cent of the population. 

(16) If the districts in which the Muslims are in a numerical 
minority are excluded from the Eastern Zone, then the percentage 
of Muslims in it will be 69.42. 

Separation is claimed on the ground that Muslims constitute a 
majority of the population in some regions of India. If India were 
to be taken as a whole as nature appears to have intended and 
history so far as known appears to have endorsed the population 
of Muslims in India as a whole including the States is 23.8 per cent 
and that of non-Muslims 76.2 per cent, while in British India ex- 
cluding the States the percentage of Muslims in the population is 
26.8 and that of non-Muslims 73.2. If the non-Muslims who consti- 
tute 38 or 25 per cent of the population in the North- Western Re- 
gion and 48 or 32 per cent in the Eastern Region, according as 
the Muslim minority districts are included or excluded can be asked 
lo submit to separation of their respective regions from the rest of 
India, why cannot the Muslims who are only 23.8 per cent in India 
as a whole and 26.8 in British India be asked to remain within India 
as they have clone so long ? If the Muslims who constitute 75 per 
cent or even less of the population in some regions can justly and 
fairly demand and enforce separation from India of the regions 
where they predominate why cannot the* non-Muslims who are 76.2 
per cem in India as a whole and 73.2 per cent in British India with 
equal justice and fairness refuse to submit to separation, particu- 
larly^ in view of long historical association in administration, if in 
nothing else ? 

In the foregoing pages I have tried to delimit the areas which 
will fall in the North-Western and Eastern Muslim Zones in ac- 
cordance with the terms laid down by the Lahore Resolution of the 
League in March 1940. I should not be understood as laying down 


any boundary lines of my own conception. This can be done only 
if the residents of the areas sought to be separated agree to sepa- 
ration; and by residents must be understood not only the Muslims 
but also the non-Muslims of those areas. For the sake of argument 
I have assumed that a majority of the Muslims of those areas both 
in the North- West and East favour partition, and hence I have 
taken the Provinces of Sind, N.-W.F., and Baluchistan in their 
entirety and only the western districts of the Punjab, and the 
eastern and some northern districts of Bengal and the district of 
Sylhet in Assam as constituting the Muslim Zones. But unless 
their desire is expressed in favour of partition in an unequivocal 
and unquestionable manner by some device, it may be argued not 
without some reason and force that even a majority of the Musal- 
rnans of those areas may not favour partition. But leaving Musal- 
nians apart there are others who insist that they cannot be ignored. 


Let us fake Sikhs who are concentrated in the British Punjab 
and the Punjab States. They have expressed \hsir opposition to 
any scheme of separation of any portion of the Punjab fromlhc 
rest of India and proclaimed their determination to resist it at all 
costs. But in case partition and separation are forced by the Mus- 
lims, they insist that the areas in which their population resides 
and in which their religious shrines exist and with which they have 
religious and historical associations should be created into a sepa- 
rate state. This area, they claim, will spread to the river Chenab 
on the West and to the Jumna on the East, to the borders of Raj- 
putana in the South and to the State of Kashmir and the mountain 
regions on the North. Mr V. S. Bhatti in a pamphlet named 
Khdlistan regards this state which falls between Pakistan on the 
West and Hindustan on the East as a buffer state between the two 
and lays down its boundary. 4 The proposed Sikh state would be 
bounded North by Kashmir, North- West and West and Sonth- 
West by the river Chenab ^nd the Punjab behind Multan, South by 
Rajputana and the gulf of Cutch, and East by the Jumna: and in 
the North-East embrace the Simla Hill States and Kulu. As this 
Sikh State will be the abode of the Khalsa it would not be inappro- 
priate to call it Khalistan. It shoul<Tconsist roughlv of the Sikh 
States, Patiala, Nabha, Jhincl, Faridkot, Kapurthala, Kalsia, Maler- 
kotla, the Simla Hill States, and the Districls or Divisions of 
Ludhiana, Jullunclar, Kulu, Ambala, Ferozpur, Lahore, Amritsar, 
Lyallpur, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Montgomery, Hissar, Rohtak, 
Karnal, Multan and Delhi. And a corridor consisting of thin strips 
of Sind, Bahawalpur, and Rajputana enabling the Sikhs to have an 


outlet to the gulf of Cutch, for without a seaport they will be bottled 
up and depend on others for their trade/ 1 

Mr Saint Nihal Singh in an article in the Hindustan Review ' A 
project for partitioning the Punjab 'points out that the Sikhs 
insist that if there is to be Pakistan, then the Sikhs must have their 
Azad Punjab which according to its propounders would include 
3,500,000 Sikhs of British India and more than 1,250,000 Sikhs re- 
siding in the States or nearly 4,800,000 Sikhs out of their total popu- 
lation of 5.10 millions according to the census of 1941. The bounda- 
ries of the Azad Punjab according to this scheme, although worked 
out in detail are still left fluid. ' The delimitation, it is proposed, 
should be entrusted to a commission composed of persons who can 
be expected to bring an impartial mind to bear upon the highly 
controversial issues with which they will have to deal. In an- 
nouncing this decision on the 5th June^ 1943, the sponsors of the 
scheme the Shiromam Akali Dal stipulated that in determining 
the limits, population, property, land revenue, cultural traditions 
and historical associations, must be duly pondered/ The scheme as 
propounded will comprise four commissionerships namely Multan 
(only a" part), Lahore, Jullundar and Ambala. The districts 
affected are : 9 

Multan Division Multan (portion only), Montgomery, Lyall- 
pur, Jhang* and Muzaffargarh. 

Lahore Division Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Amrit- 
sar, Gurdaspur and Sialkot. 

Jullundar Division Ambala, Karnal, Hissar, Rohtak, Gurgaon 
and Ferozpur. 

Ambala Division Ambala, Karnal, Hissar, Rohtak, Gurgaon 
and Simla. 

The 2,00,00,000 persons (in round figures) living in Azad 
Punjab exclusive of the portion of the Multan district lying along- 
side the Montgomery district, would comprise : 

Sikhs .. .. .. .. 34,42,508 

Muslims . . . . . . . . 91,91,608 

All other Non-Muslims (mostly Hindus) 72,45,336 

"Total 1,98,79,452 

As*Mr Saint Nihal Singh has said : ' Mistrust of the Hindus 
poisoned the Muslim mind. " Pakistan " was projected. 

' Mistrust of the Muslims poisoned the Sikh mind. A scheme 
for partitioning the Punjab is being pushed. The men behind it 
are^as determined as thy are possessed of political drive and orga- 
nising ability.' 

If therefore Pakistan is insisted upon, the Sikhs refuse to be 
ignored and insist on a partition on their own terrtis. 

1. V. S. Bhatti : "Khalistan," p. 4. 


It will be recalled that in 1905 Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal 
and established two Provincial Governments one comprising 
Assam and the eastern and northern districts of Bengal proper, and 
the other the remaining districts of Bengal, and Bihar and Orissa, 
This partition was intensely resented by the Hindus of Bengal 
generally and some influential Musalmans as well and led to the 
great anti-partition agitation of the first decade of the present 
century which had far-reaching consequences in rousing national 
consciousness throughout the country and the inauguration of the 
movement of boycott of British goods and adoption of Swadeshi. 
The British Government ultimately cancelled the partition, al- 
though it had declared it to be a settled fact. This created dis- 
content among the Musalmans for whose benefit the partition, at 
one stage of the agitation against it, had been declared to have been 
made. The point that is sought to be made out here is that in the 
foregoing discussion on the basis of the Muslim League Resolution 
of March 1940, the area of Bengal which may be separated from the 
rest of it will correspond more or less to that of Eastern Bengal cf 
the partition of 1905. The Bengali Hindus who had that, partition 
annulled in 1911 by the intensity of their agitation are not likely to 
acquiesce in it now. Much less are they likely to acquiesce in 
Bengal being cut off altogether from India and in this they will 
have the support of the Hindus from other parts of India. I have 
therefore contented myself with pointing out the implications of the 
Lahore Resolution of the League. 



We must now consider the resources of the Muslim States. 
India is an agricultural country and by far the largest proportion 
of the population whether in the Muslim or in the non-Muslim zone 
depends upon agriculture for its support and sustenance. It is 
therefore necessary to take the agricultural resources of the two 
zones into consideration. 

I. Eastern Zone 

We shall take up the Eastern Zone first. This zone is fertile 
but very thickly populated, the population being 787 per sq. mile, 
and in spite of the richness of the soil it cannot produce enough 
food for its large population, as will be shown below. 

The total population of Bengal in 1941 was just over 6 crores 
and 3 lakhs and the total area in 1936-7 available for cultivation, 
after deducting forests and other non-cultivable area, was 
3,5 1 ,07,049 acres. Out of this, 44,66,300 acres constituted the, net 
cropped area, leaving a balance of 1,06,40,749 acres which could be 
brought under the plough, if every bit of land which can bear culti- 
vation is cultivated. The cropped area per head of the population 
would be 0.40 acre and the additional land which could be cultivated 
would come to 0.17 acre per head of the population. Thus even 
when all the available land is cultivated, it cannot give more than 
0.57 acre per head of the population according to the census of 
1941. If we took the figures separately for the Muslim Zone and 
non-Muslim Zone as determined above, the position would be as 

Population and Land in Muslim and non-Muslim Districts of Bengal 

Total Area available 

for cultivation Net Cropped Area tivated Culti- Culti 

Per head Per head Per head vatea vable 

(In Acres) (Acres) (In Acres) (Acres) (In Acres) (Acres) land land 

Mue Urn Zone 2,39,^62 0.53 1,78,55,600 0.<*5 6l,Hf,862 0.1** 7*M 25.6 

Zone 1,11,58,587 0.57 66,53,700 0.}4 ^5,25,887 0.25 59. <* *0,6 

It thus appears that in the Muslim Zone and the non-Muslim 
Zone the area of cultivable land per head of the population is almost 
the same but that a greater proportion of the cultivable land is 
already cultivated in the Muslim Zone leaving only a smaller pro- 
portion awaiting cultivation, whereas in the non-Muslim Zone a 
somewhat larger area is still uncultivated. This is the position 
when we take the Chittagong Hill Tracts which are sparsely popu- 
lated and that almost entirely by Tribes and have' a larger surplus, 



comparatively speaking, of cultivable but uncultivated land, viz, 
14,22,017 acres with a population of 2,47,053, giving additional 575 
acres per head of the population of the district as against 0.14 acre 
available in the Muslim Zone. If this land is reserved for the 
Tribes, as is likely, the additional land per head of the population 
would be less than what is shown in the above statement. 

It must be borne in mind that the population has been increas- 
ing and the largest increase has been in the Eastern or the Muslim 
Zone of the Province. In districts most thickly populated like 
Dacca (1,542 per sq. mile), Mymensingh (979 per sq. mile), Faridpur 
( 1,024 per sq. mile), Tipperah (1,525 per sq. mile), Noakhali (i,337 
per sq. mile), the land already under crop in 1936-7 constituted 95.6 
per cent, 84 per cent, 99 per cent, 93 per cent and 92 per cent res- 
pectively of the total cultivable land there. The increase in the 
population of the Dacca and Chittagong Divisicyis, which fall en- 
tirely within the Muslim Zone, between 1881 and 1931, was by 
60 per cent and 88 per cent respectively; and that between 1931 
and 1941 was 19.9 per cent and 25.2 per cent respectively. Similar 
increase in the Rajshahi Division which with the exception of 
two of its districts also falls within the Muslim Zone between 1881 
and 1931 was 26 per cent and that between 1931 and 1941 only 12.8 
per cent. Similar increase in the Presidency Division leaving* out 
Calcutta and 24-Parganas between 1931 and 1941 was 15.6 per cent. 

It is thus clear that in Bengal additional area available for 
cultivation is very limited, and that in the Muslim Zone is still more 
limited almost negligible and therefore expansion of agriculture 
cannot keep pace with natural increase of population. Leaving 
future increase of population out of consideration for the moment, 
let us see if the Province can support its present population with 
the food grown on its own soil. It has been shown below that 
Uengal is a deficit province in respect of its food and this fact was 
brought home in a most painful manner by the famitle of 1943. 
There were undoubtedly other causes of that tragedy but this cause 
cannot be ignored and should not be underestimated. As Sir Azizul 
Haque has pointed out in The Man behind the Plough: *Rice is the 
main diet of the people of the Province and for the cultivator, his 
chief food is rice and clal with very little of other dishes like vege- 
tables, fish, or meat. He takes rice for his breakfast, for his t lunch 
and for his dinner. For the Province the production of rice is* there- 
fore a matter of national health and safety and yet Bengal does not 
produce enough rice needed for her own domestic consumption/ 1 

On the basis of the census of 1931 he has calculated that out 
of a total population of 5,18,73,436, over 4 crores will require full 
meals, if we deduct from the total the non-rice-eating community 
and reduce the numbers of those like children requiring less than 

1. Sir Azizul Haque: "The Man behind the Plough," p. 51. 


full meals to the level of those requiring full meals. Taking the 
daily requirement of rice at 14 chataks per day per adult, the total 
requirement comes to 319 million maunds of rice per annum. 2 Even 
if the ration is taken at 12 chataks, the standard jail ration, the 
aggregate quantity needed is just a little over 273 million maunds 
of rice. Converted to paddy the figures on the H chatak basis come 
to 479 million maunds and on the 12 chatak basis to 410 million 
maunds of paddy/ 3 Add to this 2.2 crore maunds required for seed 
at the rate of i maund per acre for 2.2 crore acres sown in 1936-7. 
The total requirement of paddy will be 50.1 or 43.2 crore maunds 
according as we take 14 chataks or 12 chataks of rice as the daily 
requirement of each rice-eating adult in the Province. Taking the 
figures of production for ten years from 1927-8 to 1936-7 Sir Azizul 
Haque concludes that there has been an anjui^al average deficit of 
1 6. T crore maunds or 9.3 crore maunds on fne basis of 14 chataks or 
12 chataks respectively, Bengal is thus in annual deficit of her 
normal food requirements. If to the produce of the Province is 
added the net average available import of rice after deducting the 
re-exports, we get an additional 2 l /z lakh tons of rice equivalent to 
3% lakh tons of paddy, which is equivalent roughly to i crore 
maunds of paddy. 'Against an average deficit of 161 million 
maunds, this addition of i million maunds does not substantially 
alter the position that the production of rice is much below the 
minimum requirements of the Province.' 4 

Mr Kalicharan Ghosh in his Famines in Bengal, 17/01943, has 
calculated that Bengal needs 25.7 crore maunds or 93.70 lakh tons 
of nee, calculating 5.5 maunds as consumption per head of the 
population. In making this calculation he has taken into conside- 
ration and given deduction for children, widows and others requir- 
ing less than two full rice meals a day. Against this requirement 
there is the average available supply of 85 lakh tons, thus leaving a 
clear deficit of 13.46 lakh tons or about 3.67*crore maunds annually, 5 
This is very much less than 16.1 or even 9.3 crore maunds calculated 
by Sir Azizul Haque. This is due to the very much smaller quan- 
tity allotted to each adult per day Sir Azizul Haque calculating 
at 14 chataks or 12 chataks, Mr Ghosh's calculation being at less 

2. One ounce of rice gives 108 to 114 calories of heat, (vide R. 1^ Chopra: "Tropical 
Therapeutics," p. 1632). Taking an average of 111 calories for each ounce and 2.2 ounces to be 
equal to'l chatak, we get 244 calories for one chatak of rice. From 14 chataks we can get 
3416 calories and from 12 chataks 2928 calories, provided every little bit is converted into 
heat which does not happen in actual practice. According to Col. R. N. Chopra, 'As a rule 
it is approximate to assume that a man or woman who leads a quiet life at home with little 
exercise requires about 2500 calories, that if he is engaged in a sedentary occupation 3000 
calories are required, that if he engages in a moderate amount of exercise or is a labourer 
doing light work, he can get along on 3500 calories and that if he does hard work 4000 
calories or even more are necessary/ (ibid., p. 153) 

3. Haque, op. cit., p. 52. 

4. ibid., pp. 55-6. There is an evident misprint here. We should read 10 million 
maunds instead of 1 million maunds. 

5. K. C. Ghosh: "Famines in Bengal, 1770-1943," Appendix, pp. 193-4. 


than 10 chataks a day. 

We have seen that increase in cultivation of fresh land does not 
and cannot keep pace with the increase of population in Bengal, 
particularly in the Muslim Zone of it. The only hope of making 
Bengal better supplied with food grown within its own boundaries 
lies not in increased or extensive cultivation but in intensive culti- 
vation. As things stand there is no facility for irrigation in the 
Muslim Zone by canal or otherwise, the two canals in the Province 
being in the districts of Burdwan and Midnapur of the Burdwan 
Division, and the Muslim Zone has to depend entirely on weather 
and rains for its crop. It is also doubtful if any artificial irrigation 
in the Eastern Muslim Zone is at all possible, and if such irrigation 
is likely to lead to any considerable improvement in the productive 
capacity of the land, which for the most part is ordinarily moist 
and subject more to flood and cyclone than to drought. It may 
be hoped, however, that it may not be beyond the resources of 
science to harness the big rivers and make them yield more food 
instead of the disaster which they periodically cause by flood to the 
people inhabiting those regions. 

Intensive cultivation also is not free from difficulty on account 
of the sfze of the holdings, and the constant sub-division even 
among the small existing holdings that is goin<> on. Sir Azizul 
Haque has calculated that the size of a standard holding of an agri- 
culturist family of 5 persons is 7 acres, of which 5.3 acres are culti- 
vated and 1.7 acres fallow; and taking into consideration the fact 
that a portion of the holding may have double crops, he roughly 
puts the gross area under cultivation per family to be 6.5 acres of 
which 5 acres may be taken to be sown with paddy, l / 2 acre with 
jute and i acre with other crops. 6 It is also worth noting that even 
though the holding of an agriculturist may consist of 7 acres, it may 
have many plots of tiny size, each separated from others by plots 
belonging to other agriculturists. Except for manuring it is diffi- 
cult to see how the productive capacity of these small bits of land 
can be increased to any considerable extent. With its heavy rain- 
fall washing away manure, and much of the land remaining for long 
periods under water, the scope for artificial manuring is also limited. 
Large-scale farming, assuming that it can give better results than 
intensive cultivation of small plots by agriculturists who but for 
the more or less fixed rent which they have to pay to the Zaniindar, 
are more or less in the position of peasant proprietors, is possible 
only if some sort of collective farming is introduced. This is by no 
means an easy matter, as the Indian peasant, whether Hindu or 
Muslim, is attached to his little plots of land and will not be easily 
persuaded or coerced to agree to their being merged with those of 

6. Haque: op. cit, pp, 93-4, 


It is enough just to refer to the position of other crops like 
sugarcane, pulses or oij-seeds, none of which is produced in suffi- 
ciently large quantities to supply the needs of the -Province, which 
has to depend upon imports of these articles or their products from 

Sugar is a very important item in the diet of the people and 
there was a time when Bengal used to produce large quantities of 
sugar. But the position is very much changed jiow. 'Of the total 
sugar manufactured and imported into India, Bengal consumes 
about 13 per cent. But her production is only 2.8 per cent of 
India's total output. In 1935-36 there was an import into this pro- 
vince of 20,79,494 maunds of gur and 29,43,311 maunds of white 
sugar. In 1936-37 Bengal produced 6,25,175 maunds but she con- 
sumed 35,39,250 tpaunds of white sugar/ 7 

Qil is another item which is jgflual IY ja_ece s s ary for a balanced 
diet. Sir Azizul Haqtie says that 'Bengal still consumes the Jargest 
quantity of mustard oil. Yet the normal acreage in 1914-15 was 
14,59,100 acres and it came down to 7,23,800 acres in 1934-35, being 
reduced by more than half in 20 years/ 8 No wonder that in 1930-^0 
the total quantity of oil-seeds (linseed, sesamum, rape and mus- 
tard) produced ifl Bengal, according* to the Statistical Abstract of 
India* was only 2,05,000 tons or 55,96,500 maunds which converted 
into oil at the rate of 33.3 per cent gave only 18,65,500 maunds of 
oil or 1% seers per head of the population per year, thus leaving a 
deficit of at least 10 seers per head of the population, if we calculate 
the consumption of oil per head even at J /2 chatak a day which is less 
than the ration allowed in jails. In other words, Bengal produces 
only about n per cent of her oil requirements and has to import 
eight times as much edible oil as it produces. 

A rough calculation of the pulses will give a deficit of about 80 
per cent of the requirements, anftthis has to be imported. 

If tlie famine of 1943 was instrumental in showing the preca- 
rious food position of Bengal, it also showed how India as a whole 
came to the help of Bengal, as it had done for Bihar at the time of 
the great Earthquake ten years earlier jn 1934. Only, the horrors 
of the Bengal famine with men and women and children dying in 
their lakhs like flies in the streets and bye-lanes of Calcutta and the 
lanes and fields of mufassil Bengal for months, were infinitely more 
indescribable and unbearable than those of the Earthquake which 
finished its work of destruction within a few short minutes, 
although its effects lasted for a long time. Bengal has not yet re- 
covered from the effects of this disaster which has a lesson of its 
own which we can ignore only at our peril. I do not know if there 

7. Haque, *>p. cit, p. 91. 8. ibid., p. 39. 

9. "Statistical Abstract of India/' 1930-31 to 1939-40, p. 556. 


are instances of aid being rushed to an independent country even by 
its immediate neighbours, not to speak of aid from countries situat- 
ed a thousand or more miles away, in case of an emergency like 
this the sort of aid given to Bengal by Provincial and Central 
Governments and non-official relief organizations. 

In reply to questions in the Bengal Legislative Council, the 
Ilon'ble Mr Suhrawardy, minister, stated on 24th July 1944 thai 
between January and December 1943, the total quantity of rice and 
paddy imported into Bengal from all Provinces and places was 
54,33,437 maunds and 5,27,934 maunds respectively. Of this 
amount no less than 26,18,009 maunds of rice and 3,38,532 maunds 
of paddy came from the Provinces of Bihar and Orissa. The value 
of food materials like rice, wheat, wheat products, jowar, bajra, 
maize, gram, pulses and barley imported into Bengal between April 
and December, 1943, came to Rs, 2 1,18,74,] 65. 10 

The Food Member, Sir J. P. Srivastaxa, informed Mr A. N. 
Chattopadhyaya in the Central Assembly on 28th February 1945, 
that the total quantity of rice purchased by the Bengal Go\ eminent 
during 1944 was over a million tons and that the Government of 
India hdcl arranged the supply of 2,35,470 tons of rice between 
November 1943, and November 2nd 1944, and 4,69,127 tons of 
wheat between April ist 1943, and April 301 h T944. 11 

Being a part of India and having a Central Government have 
proved of some value to Fieng-a! nt least in an emergency and may 
well do so in future. 

Bengal is however rich in respect of one crop viz. Jute, which 
is a money crop. Out of a total of 21,54,800 acres under' jute in 
BengalTn 1936-7 no less than 20,1 1,800 acres were cultivated in the 
Eastern and Northern districts which fall within the Muslim Zone. 
The total quantity of jute produced in 1936-7 was 104 'lakh bales 
of 400 Ibs each; 59 lakh bales were consumed by fnclian mills and 
49 lakh bales were exported to foreign countries from Bengal. The 
average annual production during fifteen years ending 1936-7 was 
nearly 95 lakh bales and the consumption by mills and export to 
foreign countries was very, nearly the same, but the i^rice of jute 
within the saiiie period varied between Rs. 18-13-0 per niaiuid which 
was the highest, in 1925-6, and Rs. 3-8-0 which was the prevailing 
price in 1932-3, 1933-4, 1934-5. 1J Being the money crop which sup- 
plies the cultivator with the wherewithal to pay his rent for the 
land, to purchase his cloth and to meet his other cash requirements, 
it plays a very important part in the village economy. Its price, 
however, is liable to wide fluctuations not so much on account of 
the fluctuations in demand and supply of the article as on account of 

10. "Hindustan Standard," Dtd. 26-7-44. 11. ibid., Dtd. 2-3-45. 
12. Haque, op. cit,, pp. 66-8. v 


trade manipulation. The mills in India and the foreign consumers 
are both in a position to dictate their own terms to the cultivator 
who is unable to hold his stock for higher prices and is compelled 
by his economic helplessness to sell it at whatever price the con- 
sumers decide to pay for it. It has thus become a most unsteady 
and uncertain source of supply of cash to the cultivators and can- 
not, at any rate in the existing circumstances, be depended upon to 
help the agriculturist to make up the deficiency in food to which he 
is subject as shown above. The consumers of jute the mills both 
Indian and foreign being outside the independent Muslim State 
in the Eastern Zone, it will be a question how far that State will be 
able to regulate its price and help the agriculturists even after its 
establishment on an autonomous and sovereign basis. 

Besides, jute is liable to be ousted on account of the sheer 
necessity of having to produce more food crops, unless the price it 
fetches is high enough to enable food to be purchased in larger 
quantities than what would be produced on the same land. Sir 
Azizul Haque has calculated that 4 jute is an unremunerativc pro- 
duce if the average harvest price [of jute] is less than Rs. 5 per 
maund under the present market conditions [ 1936-7], ' 18 aad ho has 
shown that between 1928-9 and 1934-5 the agriculturist on the 
whole was a great loser, 

Sylhet is^ the only district of Assam that falls within the 
Eastern Muslim Zone as shown above. It has an area of 5,478 sq. 
miles with a population of 31,16,602 or 569 per sq. mile, according 
to the census of 1941, the population per sq. mile in 1931 being 497 
an increase of 14.4 per cent in ten years. The population of no 
other district in the Province exceeds 329 per sq. mile and its den- 
sity for the Province as a whole is 186 per sq. mile. It is thus clear 
that Sylhet like Bengal is a most densely populated area. The total 
area in the Province of Assam under food crops including rice, 
pulses ctnd other food grains in 1936-7 was 56,83,774 acres or 1.8 
acres per head. The area'under food crops in the district of Sylhet 
in 1936-7 was 19,82,566 acres which works out at 0.63 acre per head 
of the population. If the produce is taken at the rate of 896 Ibs per 
acre which is the quinquennial average for 1936-7 for winter rice 
per acre, the rice per head will come to 564 Ibs per year, or just a 
little over 1.5 Ibs a clay. It should be rioted that we have taken 
all the land as being cultivated with paddy. Even this somewhat 
exaggerated figure is hardly sufficient to support a man in healthy 
condition. It is not necessary to give any other detailed figures 
except mentioning that this district unlike Muslim Bengal districts 
has a very small area under jute. This district alone is not likely to 
give any appreciable help in relieving the food shortage of Bengal. 

13. Haque, op, cit, p, 62. 


We have seen in an earlier chapter how emigration has been 
going on for the last forty years or so on an extensive scale from 
Eastern Bengal to Assam. But this emigration, while it has added 
to the Muslim population of Assam, has not at all affected the food 
situation in Bengal; and it could not be expected to do so when 
we consider that in Bengal during the same period the population 
has increased by more than 181 lakhs and during the last decade 
(1931-41) by nearly 102 lakhs which is very nearly the entire popu- 
lation of Assam. 14 

Tea is an important commodity produced in Bengal and Assam. 
But the position of the Muslim districts of Bengal in this respect 
is not at all satisfactory. Out of a total area of 2,03,100 acres 
under tea in Bengal in 1936-7 only 7700 acres fall in the Muslim 
Zone, and the remaining 1,95,400 acres fall within the non-Muslim 
Zone, being confined to the districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. 
The position in Assam is better. Out of a total of 4,38,925 acres in 
the Province as a whole in 1930-7, 8,057 acres \vere in the district 
of Sylhet which m^y fall within the Muslim Zone. Of the balance 
the most important districts for growing^tgii are Sibsagar, Lakhim- 
pui> Da^rang and Cachar all outside tlie Muslim Zone. 

IL North- Western Zone 

Turning to the North-Western Muslim Zone we find a better 
picture so far as agriculture and food crops are concerned. 

The population of the districts of the Punjab falling in the 
Muslim Zone is 1,68,900 and the area 63,775 sc l- miles, or 264 per 
sq. mile. In the N.-W.F.P. the density of population is 213 per sq. 
mile, and that in Sincl and Baluchistan is 94 and 9 per sq. mile 
respectively. The density for the whole zone including parts of the 
Punjab, and the whole of the N.-W.F.R, Shut and Baluchistan is 
138 per sq. mile as against 810 per sq. mile of the Muslihi Zone of 
Bengal and 569 of the district of Sylhet. 

The area actually sown in the North-Western Zone excluding 
Baluchistan is shown in Table xxiv opposite. It may be noted that 
in this table we have taken the figures of the whole of the Punjab 
and not only of the districts falling within the zone which I will do 
a little later. <- The figures e are for 1939-40. 

The position regarding the area per head of the population in 
the Muslim and non-Muslim zones of the Punjab according to the 
figures for 1937-8 given in Agricultural Statistics of India is given in 
Table xJcv on p. 282. 

It will thus be seen that in the Punjab, Sind and N.-W.F.P. not 

only is the area sown per head of the population larger than in 

Bengal but also the area available for expansion of agriculture is 

larger than that in Bengal. This is on account of the extensive 

14. "Census of India," Vol. I, Tables, p. 62, 











\ H 




8 88 88 

_ OC* JJ O CTs O Cv 

atf\ m ON O t- lf\ 

t- -a w>o5 r " 

, Sf $8 s$ 3 

I rfgj'S 1 oVS3 OtC| * 

u> \o r-?\j al -jf 

*\ <M * CO * 


r *n *-' 


aS^. d* 

- 3 ? 

5 I * 


S 8} S 

ON \ 



* * 




_ Ifv 



3J? S -. 

0\ O ^O 



; St 




V fl Vi 

O O O 

H o o t+ m 

t? * tJ *4 t9HO0Z 

| S J|? l|. ijrii 

*. fl t f> * >* O. 4 tt 

ft 2 ** ^ I 2 H 



Area per head and under different crops in the Punjab, Sind and 
N.-W.F.P. in 1937-38 

Total Area 

Districts of 
the Punjab 2,18,92,333 


Area not Net Area 
available available Area cultivable 
for culti- far culti- but not 
vation vatioa cultivated 
in Acres in Acres in Acrea 

67,39,576 1,51,52,762 37,68,649 1 

Net Area 


Area under 
Food Grain* 



Di&tricts of 

the Punjab 




,553 3,00, 

04,833 1 











,347 1,59, 











,984 53, 







TABLE XXV (contd.) 

Net Area Area 


Area under 

Area undor Area under 

Area under 

sown per for further 


Food Grains 

Oil Se 






head of vation per head 
poplatn. of population 

per head of 




in Acree 

in Acres 





Districts of 


the Punjab 


771 2, 


7,79,779 1 






Districts of 

the Punjab 


783 2 


23,55,752 1 


0.94 4 























iirigation works in the Punjab and Sind. 

I have not been able to get all the figures for Baluchistan such 
as I have secured for other provinces, It appears that in 1933-4 
the total area sown was 4,49,094 acres and the total area harvested 
was 273,872 acres, which works out at r.i acres sown and 0.7 acre 
harvested per head of the population as recorded in the Census of 
1931, and at 0.81 acre sown and 0.54 acre harvested per head accord- 
ing to the Census of 1941. 

TheJJiinjab and^md are fortunate in having a very extensive 
system of irrigation by canals and it may be hoped that there is 
much room not only for further extending agriculture but also for 
intensive cultivation of the area already cultivated, 



The following tables show the position of areas cropped and 
irrigated in 1939-40. 

Area cropped and irrigated in the N.-W. Zone 

Area Area 
Sown Irrigated 
in Acres in Acres 

of Area 
Irrigated to 
Area Sown 

Total Miles of 
Branches and 

Total Capital 
Outlay (Direct 
& Indirect) to 
end of 1039-40 




44,129 1,35,21,889 







45,34^ 42,43,949 







00,617 4,75,413 







49 094 1 45 402 





Total for 

N,W. Zone 


39,683 1,83,86,653 


31, CM 



Total for 

British India 


59,786 2,82,92,93^ 





Percentage of 

N.W. Zone to 

British India 15.6 

61 .k 

Gross Receipts 
(Direct & 

TABLE XXVI (contd.) 

Working Net Percentage Total 



(Direct & 

Revenue on Total 


v Value of 

Value of' Crops irrigated 
per head of 
Rs. Rs. 






W.W F.P. 


Total for 
N.W. Zone 

Total for 

Brxtieh India 14,60,42,127 

Percentage of 

N.W. Zone to 

BriUefc India 62.4 

1,53,98,222 5,56,91,926 

68,85,554 99,75,739 

9,80,071 13,42,486 

2,55,955 1,38,585 

9,06,68,538 2,35,19,802 6,71,48,736 
,56,93,471 10,05,48,656 

51.4 66,9 

14.19 so, 74,5*7,696 17- 3-0 

3.32 11,02,12,677 24-5-0 

0.42 ?,b6,82,912 3-12-0 

95 4,48,398 0-14-0 

9.03 64,48,01 ,f,?J> 17-10- } 

6,52 1,36,29,03,373 3- 3-0 


If we compare the area in the Muslim Zone of the Punjab with 
that in the non-Muslim Zone irrigated by Government canals as 
distinguished from other private sources of irrigation like wells, 
tanks, etc. we find the following: 

Total area irrigated Percentage of Govt 
by Govt. canals canal irrigated 
area to total 
similarly irrigated 
in the Provnce 

Muslim zone of the Punjab . . 87,08,089 acres 78 per cent 
Non-Muslim zone of the Punjab . . 24,95,199 acres 22 per cent 

Total Punjab 1,12,03,288 acres 

The Muslim Zone of the Punjab has thus the bulk of the area 
benefited by Government canals. It is thus cleftr that the N.-VV. 
Zone is in a very favourable situation so far as irrigation is concern- 
ed as compared with the whole of British India. The area sown 
in the N.-W. Zone is only 15.6 per cent of that sown in British India. 
But the area irrigateffis no less than 61.4 per cent of the total area 
irrigated in British India. Out of a total mileage of 74,911 of 
canals, their branches and tributaries in the whoje of BritisKTndia, 
no less than 31,044 or 41.4 per cent falls \\ithin the N.-W. Zone; 
and of the total outlay of capital of 153.89 crores no less than 73.88 
crores or 47.9 per cent are invested in irrigation works in the N.-W. 
Zone alone. Of the total net revenue of 10.03 crores obtained from 
irrigation from the whole of British India no less than 6.71 crores 
or 66.9 per cent are raised in the N.-W. Zone; and the value of crops 
irrigated in the N.-W. Zone is 64.48 crores as against 136.29 crores 
or 47.3 per cent. Whereas the value of irrigated crop in the N.-W. 
Zone is Rs. 17-10 per head of the population, it is no more than 
Rs. 3-8 for British India. It may be noted that the revemie received 
from irrigation in the Punjab is no less than 42 per cent of the total 
ordinary revenue of the Province; 13.4 for Sincl and 7.5 for the 
N.-W.F.P. If we take the figures for Sind and the Punjab alone, 
they reveal a still more advantageous position for those Provinces. 
No less than 85.8 per cent of the total area sown in Sind is irrigated 
by canals and similarly no less than 62.5 per cent of the total sown 
in the Punjab is irrigated by canals. The area irrigated by canals 
in the N.-W. Zone is no less than 55.4 per cent of the total area sown 
as compared to only 13.4 per cent in the whole of British India, in- 
cluding'the N-W. Zone. If we compare the figures of N.-W. Zone 
with those of British. India excluding the N.-W. Zone, the result 
will be still more favourable to the N.-W. Zone for British India 
excluding the N.-W. Zone the area irrigated by canals comes to 
only 5.5 per cent of the area sown. 

With all this advantage, however, even the N.-W. Zbne cannot 


be said to be a province which produced mfire L^ood thatijt requires. 
Whatever small surplus of any particular grain there may be is 
consumed in the neighbouring area. At the Crop Planning Confe- 
rence held at Simla in June 1934, the position of rice and wheat was 
described province by province by the Imperial Council of Agri- 
cultural Research. It was pointed out that the Punjab was not a 
producer or consumer of rice in considerable quantities. As regards 
wheat it was said that its production could not be termed excessive. 
Whatever surplus there was was easily exported to the adjoining 
provinces and Calcutta and that a real over-production might ensue 
when the maximum limit of 20 lakh acres under wheat was reached 
in Sind. 15 From the figures quoted above it will appear that the 
figure had not been reached in Sind till 1939-40. 

In January 1945 Sardar Baldev Singh, Development Minister 
of the Punjab, stated in Calcutta that although three years pre- 
viously the Punjab was a deficit Province in respect of rice, it had 
a surplus of rice in 1944-5 of 30 lakh tons. So both the Punjab and 
Sind have been expanding agriculture at a quick pace and may very 
welt be able soon to give a large surplus to other provinces of India. 
This sudden increase has undoubtedly been greatly stimulated by 
the War. 

"Calculating the consumption of food grains at the rate of 14 
chataks or 12 chataks a day by each adult in the Punjab, Sind and 
N.-W.F.P., and taking 75 per cent of the entire population as equi- 
valent to the population requiring adult diet, we get the following 

Food position in the N.-W Zone 

73* a* Consumption 

PfttmlatiAn ?*oduction @ 14 ch per $ 12 ch.per 

Population fESrr 11 per ytar day per Deficit day per Surplus 

adult diet) (In Mds) adult for (Md *> * dult for <Mdo) 

* the year the year 

(In Mda) (In Mda) 

Punjab 2,8M8,819 2,13,14,114 15,06,68,700 17,01,79,790 1,95,11,090 14,58,68,235 48,00,465 

(11.42*) 0.29*) 

Sind 45,55,008 54,01,356 2,61,80,700 2,71,56,730 9,76,050 2,32,77,510 29,03,190 

(3. 5956) (12.4755) 

WrW.f.P. 30,38,067 22,7$,550 1,59,15,900 1,81,92,695 22,76,795 1,55,93,895 3,22,005 

(12.51*) (2.06$) 

In the N.-W. Zone also population has been increasing and at a 
higher rate than in any other province. The increase during the 
fifty years between 1891 and 1941 and during 1931-1941 is shown 
in Table xxviii overleaf. 

With the extensive canal system the production of food grains 
has increased and will expand still further. But it seems the expan- 
sion in agriculture cannot keep pace with that in the population 

15. "Proceedings of th Crop Planning Conference" (Delhi, 1934), pp. 7*10, quoted by 
Professor Benoy Kumar Sarkar in "The Sociology of Population," pp. 38-9. 


Increase in population in the N.-W. Zone 



Difference bet- 


Difference bet- 




ween 19V1 8t 1891 


ween 1941 Be 1931 



No, % 


No. % 



1,86, 52, 6U 

97,66,205 52.3 


48,37,955 20.5 


, 35, 008 


16,59,908 57.0 


6,47,938 16,7 




11,80,548 63.5 


6,12,991 25.2 




1,19,525 31.2 


38,123 8,2 

Br> Indian 

Provinces 29,58,08,722 21,29,70,616 8,28,38,106 38.8 25, 67, 57, 81 8 3,90,50,904 15.2 

which in the course of fifty years has risen by more than 52 per cent 
in the Punjab, by 57 per cent in Sind and by more than 63 per cent 
in the N.-W.F.P. This, however, is a problem which this area has 
to solve along* with the rest of the country and involving which it 
is perhaps better situated than any other province at present. 

Apart from food crops the N.-W. Zone, particularly the Punjab 
and Sind, have cotton cultivation on an extensive scale. Tn 1939-40 
the Punjab produced 10,17,000 bales (400 Ibs each) of cotton, Sind 
3,d(),ood bales and the N.-W.F.P 3,000 bales. The area under 
cotton in the three Provinces A\as 26,41,105, 54,390 and 17,351 
acres respectively. 16 The importance of this crop which is a money 
crop will become apparent when it is remembered that out of a total 
33,81,000 bales produced in British India no less than 13,29,000 bales 
or 39.3 per cent are produced in the N.-W. Zone and that the area 
under cultivation of cotton, particularly of superior quality, is in- 
creasing year by year in the Sukkur Barrage area of Sind it has 
increased from 3,42,860 acres in the pre-Barrage period of 1932-3 
to 8,55,277 acres in 1939-40 as the result of assured perennial irri- 
gation. Moreover, the increased cultivation has been entirely under 
American cotton for which a better price is obtained. 17 Similar, 
though not to the same extent, is the case with the Punjab where 
also the area under improved varieties is increasing yea? by year. 

The mpney value calculated at the average price of cotton pre- 
vailing in 1939 at Rs. 105 per bale of 400 Ibs comes, for the Punjab, 
to nearly Rs. 9 crores and for Sind to Rs. 3.25 crorcs as against 
Rs. 35.50 crores for the whole country. 

The bulk of this cotton is exported either to other Provinces 
or to foreign countries, as the number of cotton textile mills in 
these Provinces is almost negligible, and hand-spinning, although 
popular in the Punjab, cannot consume any appreciable quantity of 
it. Of 380 cotton textile mills with over ten lakh spindles and over 
two lakh looms that were in existence in India in 1938-9 no more 

16. "Statistical Abstract for British India/' 1930-31 to 1939-40, p. 554, 

17. Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture of Sind, 1939-40, pp. 7-8. 


than 7 mills with about 72,000 spindles and less than 2,000 looms 
were in the Punjab and Sind, there being none in the N.-W.F.P. 
and Baluchistan. 18 

In the above discussion the North- Western Zone means the 
three Provinces of the Punjab including" the districts with non- 
Muslim majorities, Sind and the N.-W.F. Province where non- 
Muslim districts of the Punjab are not specifically excluded. 


Charles H. Behrc, Professor of Geology, Columbia University,:, 
U.S.A., writing in Foreign Affairs says: 'India, exclusive of Burma, 
now is or promises soon to be important in world trade as a source 
of coal and petroleum, iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, gold, 
bauxite, salt, magiiesite, mica, jjypsum, various gemstones, niona- 
zite and certain refractory materials. 

'Industrial power in the modern world is based on the trinity 
of coal, iron and oil. Together coal and iron are the foundations 
for industrialisation in our present age. They are to the develop- 
ment of the machine what oxygen and hydrogen are to the growth 
of the human body; they must be present in combination. Oil, 
though also valuable, is far less essential; in time of peace, a state 
rich in coal can do entirely without oil deposits, if exchange in 
mineral commodities is free. Even if it has no oil, it may convert 
its coal to liquid fuel as Germany docs. Oil is of little direct value 
in the making of steel, and cannot as yet be substituted for coal in 
the steel industry. Coal remains essential. 

'Our first conclusion is apparent: India is not abundantly sup- 
plied with oil but she jjossei^sja^ of most important 
mdustna] ^minerals coalTlron, several of the ferroalloys which 
make good steel, and WrStlMdiary minerals in ample quantity to 
make Her a powerful and reasonably self-sufficient industrial nation. 
The per capita supply is relatively low in comparison with that of 
most of the great industrial nations, but per capita consumption 
could be materially raised without seriously endangering reserves 
of the more essential minerals in the reasonably hear future/ 

Let* us now see how these minerals are distributed over the 
country and what share of these valuable materials falls within the 
Muslim Zones in the North- Western and Eastern Regions as com- 
pared with that in the rest of the country. 

In Table xxix overleaf I have not included some minerals 
like salt (64,674 tons) produced entirely in the Western Punjab, 
bauxite (10,134 tons) produced entirely in the non-Muslim Zone 

18. M. P. Gandhi: "Indian Textile Cotton Industry" (1939 Annual), p. 62 and Appendix I, 


and some other less important minerals. 

Coal is easily and undoubtedly the most valuable mineral The 
whole of it falls outside the Muslim Zone with the exception of a 
small quantity that is raised in the Punjab and Baluchistan. The 
coal-fields of Bengal are all situated in the district of Burdwan 
which with a Muslim population of less than 18 per cent naturally 
falls outside the Muslim Zone. The oil-fields of Assam also fall 
outside the Muslim Zone. 

Mineral oil is to be found to some extent in the Punjab, 
N.-W.F.P. and Baluchistan. Dr J. Coggin Brown, Superintendent 
of the Geological Survey of India, in his book India s Mineral Wealth 
has given figures of average annual production of petroleum in 
India from 1900 to 1933 when Burma was included in India, The 
proportion in the period 1929-32 was: from Burma 81.4 per cent, 
from Assam 15.5 per cent and from the Punjab 3.1 per cent. He 
quotes Sir Edwin Pascoe: 'In many parts of the Punjab, however, 
and in the Baluchistan area the rock fields have been too deeply 
truncated by agents of denudation or have been dislocated by earth 

c l " Mineral production in the Muslim Zones, 1938 

tfuAlia Btngal Punjab Sind N-tf.f.P. BaluehUtan 

Mineral Quantity Vslu* Quantity Value qi'intity Value quantity Value Quantity Value 

(te) (8s) 

Coal (ton*) - - 1,8*, 028 "0,20,656 - - ^,388 91 4 &12 

(gellona) - - .11, 13, '+30 >2,73,"5^> - - 

(tone) - ,. . , . 21,892 J,26,01* 

Copper Ore 
and" Matte 

(tone) _ __. 

iron Ore 

* (tone) 

Magueai te 

Mineral production in British India and Muslim and Non-Muslim Zones 







Coal (ton*) 




9, *6, 30, 718 


9 35,18,050 

Petroleum (gallon*) 







Cbronite (tona) 







Copper Or* and 

Matte /tons) 







Iron Ore (tons) 



1*, 21 ,701 


1*, 21 ,701 


Manganese Or* (tona) 







lUgneslt* (tona) 




1,3*, 876 



Mica (cwt.) 


1 ,08,83* 




67.17,037 15,38,50,3** 


movements and much ofjhe original stores of oil have disappeared ; 
oiTse^a^T*a?F1common enoujpT, but most of them appear to be 
mere " shows ", not connected with reservoirs that can be tapped 
by artificial means/ 1 Some test drillings have proved unsuccessful, 
but the producing oil-field at Khaur is working successfully. The 
total value of mineral products of the whole of British India in 
1938 was Rs. 15,38,50,000 out of which minerals worth only 
Rs. 76,17,000 or 4.3 per cent came from the North- Western Zone, 
the Eastern Zone contributing nothing. The position will be worse 
for the Muslim regions, if we take the figures of the Indian States 
along with those of British India. No wonder that^LQiss^or^Bchre. 
has come to the conclusion that ' India's minerals are so distributed 
between the parts of India in which Hindu and Muslim people 
preponderate that if India were divided on the basis of religious 
population the Hindu State w.oulcl ^be rich and the Muslim State 
would be conspicuously poor. This disproportion is sufficiently 
g r reat so that, speaking generally, it does not even seem to be can- 
celled out by differences in population density. I^ot only is this fact 
of Hjj&^ustan's relatively greater mineral wealthjrue for the pre- 
serfCas judged from a comparison of the minerals now produced, it 
wijL doubtless be an even more striking iaci of the future, as the 
industrialisation of India advances. The significant conclusion as 
to the question of Pakistan and Hindustan is corollary to this fact. 
Hindustan has great reserves of coal and iron; it has excellent 
reserves of the more important ferro-alloy metals (though these 
must be supplemented by the import of others) and of the non- 
metallic minerals and gold; it has considerable reserves of bauxite 
and some copper. Pakistan has a small amount of coal and iron; 
few ferro-alloys; and little bauxite. But Pakistan has as much of 
the ferro-alloys, other than manganese and chromium, as has Hin- 
dustan; it has adequate reserves of the other subsidiary minerals, 
except magnesite; and it has most of the oil. 

' Our second conclusion, in short, is that the Hindu and Muslim 
areas of India are interdependent. Not only would Hindustan 
need some of the resources of Pakistan; for industrial life Pakistan 
would desperately need great quantities of the resources of Hindu- 
stan/ And Professor Behre concludes his survey with the follow- 
ing significant words : 

' This report does not pretend to assess the responsibility for 
the delay in the settlement between India and Great Britain, any 
more than it wishes to belittle the importance to the peoples of 
India of their religious values. It notes merely that from the point 
of view of mineral resources dT^Hm^ of Jndia 

intimately intetgrbwii^are, also (jQteT^pen^^ It 

urges that political interdependence i_s,ajyise solution wjhere econo- 

1. J. C. Brown : "Indies Mineral Wealth," V 60- ~ ~ " 


mic interdependence is so intimate and so essential. It implies that 
the Muslim sections of India wouM have more to lose than the 
Hindu sectTons if a separation by "states on religious lines were car- 
ried out. And it suggests finally that the economy of India as a 
whole is interdependent with that of other parts of Asia.' 

A similar conclusion is reached by Sir Homi Mody and Dr 
Matthai who write : 

' India satisfies the requirements of an optimum unit for econo- 
mic development in terms of area, population and resources more 
than any other single country in the world except the United States 
of America and Sqviet Russia. . . . Division of India would weaken 
both Pakistan and Hindustan but the former would suffer more 
than the latter. . .in respect of mineral resources, lacking coal and 
iron and ferro-alloys, the position of Pakistan in respect of both 
zones would be substantially weaker and she would lack the neces- 
sary mineral base for large-scale industrial development which is 
so essential for her future progress/ 2 

* The Muslim zones have one great advantage. The hydro- 
electric survey of India shows the probable minimum continuous 
wa f er-pcwer available in Pakistan to be 2877 thousand kilowatts; 
1084 thousand in the Eastern Zone and 1793 thousand in the 
Western Zone; while in Hindustan it would be only 1343 thousand 
kilowatts/ 3 


Forests are regarded as a^great asset by all countries. In India 
they have not been fully developed and the revenue^derived from 
them is on the whole inconsiderable. It is thereTore not necessary 
to go into great detail here but the general psition may be briefly 

In the Eastern Zone (i.e. Bengal) the Forest Department has 
divided the forests into two circles, the Northern and the Southern 
circles. The forests comprised in the Northern circle fall entirely 
within the non-Muslim portion of Bengal and of those in the 
Southern circle roughly two-thirds fall within the Muslim and one- 
third within the non-Muslim portion of Bengal. The net revenue 
in 1939-40 for the whole Province was Rs. 6,58,033 and taking the 
figures for the two portions separately on the basis of the division of 
the forests in the two parts the non-Muslim portion's share will be 
roughly Rs. 4.50 lakhs and that of the Muslim portion over Rs. 2 
lakhs. 1 

2. Sir Homi Mody and Dr Matthai : " A Memorandum on the Economic and Financial 
Aspects of Pakistan/ 1 pp. 25-26. 3. ibid., p. 16. 

1. Based on the Report of the Forest Dept. of Bengal, 1939-40. 


In the Punjab, out of a total area of 5,184 sq. miles of forest 
for the whole Province, the Eastern circle which falls outside the 
Muslim Zone has 3,877 sq. miles and the Western circle which falls 
within the Muslim Zone has 1,307 sq. miles. The total revenue for 
both the circles in 1937-8 was Rs. 23,60,192 and the expenditure was 
Rs. 22,85,007 leaving a negligible surplus of only Rs. 75,185 for the 
whole Province. 2 

Sind in this respect is better situated. It has 1,134 sq. miles of 
forest with a revenue of Rs. 7,76,348 and expenditure of Rs. 3,62,741, 
leaving a surplus of Rs. 4,13,606 in 1939- I94O. 8 


Let us see the position of Industries now. 

In Table xxxi the figures for Bengal and the Punjab are 
for the whole provinces and not only for the portions falling 
within the Muslim Zone. They are therefore misleading and parti- 
cularly so in the case of Bengal as the industries in that Province 
are concentrated in and around Calcutta which falls outside the 
Muslim Zone. Jute is undoubtedly produced in the Muslim Zone 
but the jute mills arc almost all within a few miles of Calcutta on 
the banks of the Hooghly. Of^some 30^ cotton* textile mills in 
Bengal not more thanj^falljvithin the Muslim Zone, the rest being 
all in western Bengal outside the Muslim Zone. These have about 
j, 1 2,000 spindles and over 2,600 looms as against 10 lakh spindles 
and over 2 lakhs of looms in India. It is the jute mills which singly 
give employment to the largest number of men. Iron and steel 
works are all within the western non-Muslim districts. Similarly, 
all important industries are in and near about Calcutta, with the 
exception of rice mills and jute presses which are spread over the 
whole Province. Among the Government and Local Fund facto- 
ries the most important are the Ordnance Factories, Railway 
Workshops, Dockyards and Printing Presses. These also are con- 
centrated in Calcutta and its suburbs. It may thus safely be assert- 
ed that in spite of the fact that the figures for Bengal make a 
satisfactory show, so far as industries are concerned, they relate 
more by far to the non-Muslim Zone than to the Muslim Zone. 

Professor Coupland has put the position succinctly as follows: 
' Bengal as it is now, with 20 per cent of the population of British 
India, possesses (on the basis of the average number of workers 
employed in factories) 33 per cent of its industry. In Eastern 
Bengal without Calcutta, the percentage of British Indian industry 
falls to 2.7/ 1 

2. Based on the Report of the Forest Dept., Punjab, 1937-8. 1. R. Coupland : " Tha 

3. Based oxi the Report of the Forest Dept. of Sind, 1939-40 * Future of India," p. 96. 

I Government and Local Fund Factories 

Industries, 1939 



Breweries & Distilleries 
Cotton Mills 

A B 

1 19 

A B 

1 109 
1 195 

A B 

1 34 

Britich British 
N.W.F.P. Baluchistan India 
A B A B A B 

2 2,157 
- 2 175 
- - - - 3 54* 
5 1,701 












Electrical Engineering 

9 t 










Engineering (General) 









48 52 


Forage*, presses 









43 1 













Ordnance Factories 








270 1 

1,075 25 


Printing Presses 











Railway Workshops 











Saw Mills 

































Water Pumping Stations 











Woollen Mills 











Total Perennial 
Forage Press 









425 54 








545 , fr 

1,589 345 








" - 19 













Total Seasonal 

Total Government and 
Local Fund Factories! 









* 29 









770 8 

1,589 374 

1,32, if 46 

A Nuaber of Factories. B * Average Daily Number of Workers Employed 

TABLE XXXI (contd.) 

II All Other fact or le a 


1 Textile 

A B 

Punjab Sind N.W.F.P. 
A B A B A B 

British British 
Baluchistan India 
A B A B 

Cotton (Spinning) 

Weaving & others 



14 9 t 21i 




Jute Mi. Us 


2 f 1,22? 








62 1,863 1 




y $ilk Mills 



4 563 2 




Woollen Mills 


6 2,661 - 







25 1,936 - 






111 1$,23'4 3 


- 1,303 


11 Engineering 



55 3,116 29 

2,228 2 94 

4 265 1,001 


III Minerals & Metals 




46 1,554 2 




Iron and Steel Smelting 

& 8t*l Rolling Mills 







Lead Smelting & 

Lead Rolling MJLlLe 



Petroleum Refining 


2 803 - 








23 1,101 - 






71 3,4$5 2 

64 - - 



IV Food, Drink & 


hour Mills 



18 1,173 13 




Rice Mills 



43 1,056 



1 20 1 




Others including 




26 553 9 

301 v k 96 






88 3,^79 23 

!167 4 96 



V Chemicals, Dyes etc. 



52 1,554 9 

1,642 - - 



VI Paper & Printing 

Paper & Pulp Mills 



1 995 - 




Printing and 




44 2,019 16 

509 5 109 

-' - 655 





2 56 ~ 







47 3,070 16 

509 5 109 



TABLE XXXI (contd.) 

British British 




Stnd H.W.F.P. Baluchistan India 







B A B 

A fl A 


VII Proccsaea relating 

to Wood, Stone, 

Glace ate. 

Brick, Tiles, Carpentry 
and Cabinet making 






325 - 



Cement, Lime and 






524 - 












Saw Mills, Stone 
dressing & Miscellaneous 







2 109 159 









2 109 W 


VIII Skins & Eides 

PrOC 68668 






16 - 



IX Gins & Presses 







1 60 181 


X Miscellaneous 

Rope Works etc. 






232 - 



Total Perennial 1 






6,848 11 299 

7 W 6,598 



Food, Drink and 


Rice Mills 






2,037 - 









177 - 










- 1,055 


Coffee, Tobacco, Ice, 

Aerated Water & 



















Chemicals & Dyes 









Cotton, Gins and 






12,565 7 199 

- 1,879 


Jute Prenses & 






105 - - 



Total Seasonal 






14,884 7 199 

- 3,W 


Total - All other 
Factories 1 






21,732 18 498 

7 434 U,09? 


Orand Total 1 






24,995 36 1,268 

15 2,023 10,466 


A = Mumber of Factories. B * Average Daily Number of Workers Employed 


The position of the Punjab is somewhat different. Lahore 
falls within the Muslim Zone and the industries that are working 
'there'lall within that Zone. The figures of the Punjab may there- 
fore be taken roughly as showing with some exaggeration the posi- 
tion of the Muslim Zone. If, therefore, we leave the Bengal figures 
out of consideration and take those for the whole of the Punjab 
along with those of the N.-W.F.P., Sind and Baluchistan, we shall 
get a more or less correct appreciation of the industrial position of 
the Muslim Zones of India. The total number of factories in the 
Punjab, the N.-W.F.P., Sind and Baluchistan including factories 
and workshops belonging to the Government and Local Funds and 
those owned by others is 1,175; and they give employment to 
1,06,588 persons. The size of the individual factories is small as 
compared with that of British India as a whole. The total number 
of factories in Bntisli.In.dia is 10,466 and they employ 17,5 1,13^ 
persons. Thus while the number of factories in the North-Western 
Provinces conies to 11.23 per cent of the factories in British India, 
the numbers employed by them come only to .1 per cent of the 
numbers employed by all the factories in BriVish India. In other 
words, the average number of employees in a factory in the N. *W. 
Provinces is 90 while that in British India is 167 per factory. Of 
these factories and workshops those owned and run by the Govern- 
ment and Local Funds in the N.-W. Provinces bear a large propor- 
tion to the total. Their number is gi and they employ 28,024 per- 
sons, which shows that while the number of factories is only 7.7 
per cent the number of employees is 26.3 per cent; or in other 
words the larger factories are Government or Local Fund factories. 
Among the larger Government factories are the Ordnance Facto- 
ries and Railway Workshops. Among industries owned and run 
by private parties there is no single industry which gives employ- 
ment to as many persons as the Railway Workshops or Ordnance 
Factories except cotton ginning and baling which are the biggest 
single industry in the Punjab and Sind. 

It is thus .apparent that the North-Western Zone is not an 
industrially developed area, even as industrial development has 
taken place in British India, and the largest factories and work- 
shops belong to the State. 

If tor the reasons stated above we exclude the Bengal industries 
from our calculation as falling mostly outside the Muslim Zone of 
Bengal the industrial position of the N.-W. and Eastern ones as 
compared with British India as a whole appears to be still more un- 
satisfactory. The population of the Muslim Zones of Bengal and 
the Punjab, and of the N.-W.F.P., Sind and Baluchistan constitutes 
26.7 per cent of the total population of British India, but the 
number of industrial establishments Government, Local Funds, 
and others is only 13.9 per cen f and the number employed by 


them is only 7.36 per cent of that of British India, and as stated 
above the larger ones are Ordnance Factories and Railway Work- 

Among industries which absorb the bulk of the capital invested 
in India are Cotton Mills, Jute Mills and Sugar Mills. (Wjiile cotton 
is produced largely in the Punjab and Sind and jute in Eastern 
Bengal, thejrmlls which spin and weave them are mostly outside 
Muslim Zones in the N.-W. and in the East. I In 1939-40 Joint 
Stock Companies registered in India owning cotron mills had a paid 
up capital of Rs. 23-93 crores. To this must be added 271,778 
being paid up capital of companies registered in foreign countries 
and owning cotton mills in India in 1938-9, Similarly, the paid up 
Indian capital of jute mills was Rs. 20.46 crores and 3,295,587. 
Sugar mills absorbed Rs. 10.97 crores and 306,656. The Muslim 
Zones have but a small share in these industries. So also the mining 
and quarrying companies have a paid up Indian capital of Rs. 19.98 
crores and foreign capital of 111,056,444. The ^luslim Zones 
have no share at all in this enterprise as they have no mines of coal, 
ir,on, copper, etc., and have only a share in petroleum. 

The passage quoted above from the Report of Professor 
Charles H. Behre in Foreign Affairs is borne out by a study of these 
figures. It may be noted, however, in passing that Professor Behre's 
conclusions are based on the assumption that the whole of Bengal 
and Assam including the petroleum area which exists in the ex- 
treme north-east of Assam will be included in the Eastern Zone, 
which as we have shown earlier is not derivable from the League 
Resolution on the subject. Similarly, he also includes the whole of 
the Punjab in the N.-W. Region, His conclusions would have been 
even more emphatic against the proposal for a division of India on 
the basis of religion in the interest of the Muslim Zones themselves, 
if he had excluded from his consideration the western portion of 
Bengal where all the coal and most of the industrial establishments 
are concentrated, excluded the whole of Assam including the oil- 
fields minus'the district of Sylhet, and also the Eastern districts of 
the Punjab in some of which certain industries are concentrated. 

The position of Indian manufacturing industries is nicely sum* 
marized by Dr_A,^M. Lorenzo in his Atlas of India (Oxford Pamph- 
lets on Indian Affairs) : 

' The proper view of industrial evolution and progress in India 
is physico-environmental. The principal industries of India tend to 
segregate in certain well-defined regions. The iron and steel in- 
dustry is localized in Bengal and Bihar near the coal and iron mines, 
the centres of production being Jamshedpur, Kulti, Burnpur, and 
Manoharpur; the cotton industry is centred in the province *of 
Bombay because of climatic (humidity) factors and the proximity 


to raw materials, the centres of production being Bombay, Shola- 
pur, Hubli and Ahmedabad; jute mills cluster around Calcutta in 
Bengal ; sugar mills are dotted along the railway track among cane- 
producing regions in the U.P. and Bihar; cement is manufactured 
in the Central and Southern tableland near the sources of raw 
materials, e.g. limestone, gypsum and clays; paper mills are mainly 
in Bengal, Bombay and the U.P. ; leather in the U.P. and Madras; 
glass in the Central and Upper Ganges plain/ 2 

One need only add to make the position further clear that 
none of the Provinces falling within the N.-W. Zone is even once 
mentioned, and the references to Bengal are practically all in 
respect of factories situated outside the Muslim Zone. 

What should be borne in mind is that the present conditions 
are likely to be further accentuated in the future. The physico- 
environmental conditions which have to a great extent determined 
the concentration of industries in particuar regions will not change, 
nor will the distribution of the mineral and other resources, by any 
political adjustment of boundaries or creation of separate indepen- 
dent states. 

Table xxxii overleaf gives the figures of the inland* trade in 
certain principal articles between the Provinces which will consti- 
tute the North- Western and North-Eastern Muslim Zones on the 
one hand and the rest of India on the other for the year 1939-40 
in thousands of mauncls. Excess of imports over exports is repre- 
sented by a minus sign. 

Both the Zones have an excess of imports in respect of coal 
and coke, cotton piece goods, iron and steel and sugar; and excess 
of exports in respect of salt and grains including rice but excluding 
\\heat in the Eastern Zone. In raw cotton, wheat, and oil-seeds the 
North- Western Zone has an excess of exports over imports. These 
figures relate to the Provinces as a whole. If the districts with 
non-Muslim majorities are excluded then the position in respect of 
both coal and coke and iron and steel will become very much worse 
for the Eastern Zone, as the eastern and northern districts of Ben- 
gal with Muslim majorities will show practically no export of these 
articles and the western districts with non-Muslim majorities will 
practically show no imports of them and the net balance of imports 
against the Muslim Zone will be very much enhanced. On the 
same basis the position of the Eastern Muslim Zone will show 
an improvement in respect of jute. The excess of imporj: of jute 
implies that it is imported for export to foreign countries. This is 
because coal and coke and iron and steel are produced in the western 
non-Muslim districts and jute is produced very largely in the 
eastern Muslim districts. As regards wheat which is one of the 
principal exports from the Punjab it may be pointed out that 11011- 

2. A. M. Lorenzo : " Atlas of India," sec. 8 ' 










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Muslim India will not have to be dependent on the Punjab for 
wheat in the way the Muslim Zones will have to be dependent on 
the non-Muslim Zones for coal and iron and steel, inasmuch as 
non-Muslim India produces almost as much wheat as it consumes 
at present. Punjab wheat has also to face heavy competition with 
Australian wheat \vhose import into India increased from 13,000 
tons in 1935-6 to 150,000 tons in 1938-9. 

When confronted with these problems on which depends the 
future well-being of the people inhabiting the regions proposed to 
be separated from the rest of India, Mr M. A. Jinnah is reported to 
have told Mr Herbert L. Mathews, in an interview appearing in the 
New York Times of September 21, 1942: 'Afghanistan is a poor 
country but it goes along; so does Iraq and that has only a small 
fraction of the 70 million inhabitants we would have. If we are 
willing to live sensibly and poorly so long as we have freedom, why 
should the Hindus object?. . .The economy will take care of itself/ 
This may furnish a good debating point but is hardly the way to 
deal with a question affecting the well-being* of 70 million Musal- 
mans and uprooting and demolishing in a cruel and unceremonious 
manner what has taken centuries to build up. 


We have next to consider how the two Muslim Zones will stand 
regarding their public revenue and expenditure. The League Reso- 
lution contemplates ' Independent States 1 in the North- Western 
and Eastern Zones of India with full control finally of Defence, 
Foreign Affairs, Communications, Customs, Currency and Ex- 
change, etc. The word 4 States ' is used in the plural in the Resolu- 
tion of the League as also by Mr Jinnah in his Presidential address 
at the Madras session of the League (1041 ) and it would seem that 
the two Sttes are to be independent not only of the rest of India 
but also of each other. It is also contemplated that the constituent 
units will be ' autonomous and sovereign J . It is not quite clear that 
there will be a Federation of autonomous and sovereign units. The 
omission to use the word Federation and the use of the word Sove- 
reign in regard to the units would indicate the contrary. But let 
us assume that a Federation of the units in each of the North- 
Western and Eastern zones is contemplated. Each Federation will 
have to maintain a Federal administration with all the departments 
and paraphernalia of an independent Federal State. The units will 
have, further, to maintain each its own administrative machinery. 
We shall have something corresponding to" the Central Govern- 
ment of India in each Federation and withirreach Federation there 
will be units corresponding to the Provinces of British India. We 


shall have accordingly two sets of budgets of revenue and expendi- 
ture, viz. the Federal or Central Budget of each zone and the bud- 
get of each unit or the Provincial Budget. We know that each 
Provincial Government has its own revenues derived from various 
sources such as land revenue, provincial excise, etc. and has to 
maintain the Provincial administrative machinery as also what are 
called social services or nation-building departments, such as edu- 
cation, public health, etc. The Central Government has its own 
sources of revenue such as customs, and has to maintain its own 
administrative machinery to deal with the federal subjects among 
which the most important arc Defence and Foreign Affairs. It may 
be assumed that the units as also the Federal States will have 
machinery more or less similar to that of the Provincial Govern- 
ments and the Central Government of British India. The sources 
of revenue and items of expenditure will also be therefore similar 
and we can form some idea of their finances by considering the 
financial position of the Provinces which will fall within the zones 
and the proportion of the Central revenues and expenditure which 
will fall to the share of the separated zones. There are two difficul- 
ties, "however, in this connexion which have to be borne in mind. 
While it is easy to get the budget of each Province as a whole, we 
cannot get the figures district by district, so that if an entire Pro- 
vince does not fall within a Muslim zone but only some districts of 
it, others remaining outside the Muslim zone, it becomes very 
difficult if not impossible to get accurate figures of revenue and 
expenditure relating to that portion of a Province which falls with- 
in a Muslim zone. In the second place, so far as the Federal or 
Central figures are concerned the difficulty of allotting the revenue 
and expenditure to the separated zones is even greater than in the 
case of Provincial figures. It may also be noted that any conclusion 
or discussion regarding* the finances of the Units or the Federations 
can at best be only provisional. The War has created conditions 
and is going to bring into prominence problems which make any 
calculations ba^ed on past budgetary position extremely tentative. 
With these cautions in mind it will nevertheless be helpful to pro- 
ceed on data of current revenue and expenditure. I would accord- 
ingly deal with the Provincial budgets and the Federal budgets of 
the North-Western and Eastern Muslim Zones separately. 

I will first take the Provincial budgets. The years 1938-39 and 
1939-40 arc the latest normal years before World War II and may 
be taken as furnishing safe data. 

A reference to Tables xxxiv & xxxv shows that the revenue 
and expenditure of each Province are balanced and if they are 
maintained at the same level after these Provinces are separated 
they will continue to balance each other. It may be noted, however, 


that Assam, N.-W.F.P. and Sind are able to balance their budgets 
with the subventions of 30 lakhs, i crore, and i crore 5 lakhs res- 
pectively from the Government of Tndia. Their own Provincial 
revenues were unable to meet their expenditure and but for this 
grant-in-aid they would have considerable deficits. 1 In the case of 
the Province of Assam the expenditure on social services was 71.41 
lakhs and 73.86 lakhs in 1938-9 and 1939-40 respectively, and it is 
clear that but for this subvention the Province would be unable to 
meet nearly half the amount spent on social services. The position 
of the N.-W.F.P. would become jg-recarious without this subvention. 
It is unable to meet ^enJjie cost QJJi&jELdniirislration and in each 
of the two years there would have been a heavy defipit. of qvftt.2jJL25- 
lakhs and 28.50 lakhs respectively in the cost of administration 
alone.* The amount spent on social services and civil works would 
have to be entiroly cut down and these departments altogether shut 
up. Similarly in the case of Sind there would be a deficit; though 
somewhat smaller than in tneT"case of N.-W.F.P., In the cost of 
administration; and the social services and civil works would have 
to be stopped altogether if aid were not available from the Central 
Funds. Baluchistan is a responsibility of the Central Gavermmmt. 
Its revenues in 1932-3 came to 20.54 lakhs and the expenditure to 
91.56 lakhs, thus" leaving a heavy de.ficjt.of over 71 lakhs to be met 


Subventions and other payments made by the Centre to the Provinces under 
the Government of India (Distribution of Revenues) Order as amended 

(In lakhs of Rupees) 

Income Tax Jute Duty Subventions 

Paid to 1938-9 19^5-6 1933-9 19^5-6 1933-9 19^5-6 

Accounts Budget Accounts Budget Accounts Budget 

Bengal 30.00 ^65. 80 221. 27 121,22 ,, 

Bombay 30.00 1+65-80 

Madras 22.^0 3^9-35 * 

U. P. 22.50 3^9-35 f 25.00 4. 

Punjab 12.00 186.32 t . , . 

C . P . 7 . 50 1 1 6 . ^5 * , 

Bihar 15.00 232.90 17.12 7.80 

Assam 3-00 ^6.58 11.69 10.08 30.00 30.00 

Orissa 3-00 <f6,58 0.92 0.90 ^.00 ^0.00 

N.W.F.P. 1.50 23.29 .. t. 100.00 100.00 

Sind 3.00 ^6.58 .. <t 105.00 ' .. 

It is not clear, from the text of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, whether the new States, 
formed out of the Northern and Western Provinces, and those on the East, with Muslim 
majorities, would federate amongst themselves, or remain each an independent sovereign 
state by itself. The actual wording of the resolution suggests the latter course. In that 
event, the incidence of the budgetary burdens would be much more heavy on the more 
backward or poorer provinces of Pakistan ; and there will be no Central Government of 
theirs to grant subventions such as are given to some of these units under the present 
Government of India. 

It may we noted, however, that Sind, having paid off its' debt, needs no subvention, 
which has accordingly been discontinued sinc^ 1943-4. 

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by the Central Government. We thus see that if Assam, N.-W.F.P., 
Sind and Baluchistan are separated, the Federal Governments of 

the two Zones will have to continue this jg^jdy. lakhs in 
the case of the Eastern Mwsljrn Zone and 2.76 crores injTie case of 
NortK : Western Muslim Zone to enable th^'units to carry on their 
administration at the level of 1938-9, 1939-4- 

- It may be pointed out, however, that it would be impossible to 
maintain the expenditure on social services at that level for the 
simple reason that they were at a very low level, as the following 
table will show : 

Expenditure on Social Services 

Average expenditure Average expenditure 

on Social services per head of the 

1938-9 & 1939-40 population 

(in lakhs of Rs.) Rs. As. Ps. 

Bengal . . 316.48 085 

Assam . . 72.63 oil 3 

Punjab . . 324.86 i 2 3 

N.-W.F.P. .. 37.46 i 3 8 

, Sind ... 54.18 i 3 i 

Any increase of expenditure under these heads must necessa- 
rily mean addition to the revenue either by fresh taxation within 
the Province or a larger subvention from the Federal Government, 
It is difficult to contemplate any curtailment in the expenses of 
administration. These Provinces have given no indication so far 
except for a short time in the N.-W.F.P. that they consider the 
overhead charges excessive and as such requiring curtailment. It 
is generally said that the scale of^salaries of the higher posts is out 
of all proportion to the national income of the people of India and 
il was in the hope of emphasizing this fact, if not of actually bring- 
ing down the administrative expenses, that the Congress fixed the 
emoluments of ministers at a low figure. The Muslim League and 
its ministers have not accepted that position and thus given no indi- 
cation of anv intention of economizing expenditure under that head. 
In the absence of such economy in the case of the heads of the 
administration it would be futile to expect, if it is not wrong, to cut 
down the salaries of the lower paid staff. It is therefore not unrea- 
sonable to infer that economy in administrative expenditure to any 
considerable extent cannot be expected. So any increase in expen- 
diture on social services can only be either bjTif^^T^^ 1 ^ 011 within 
the Province or further grant from the Fet^al^GovenTmenlV " 

There is another point with regard to the Provincial budget 
which needs to be stated. In the tables given above as also in the 
discussion the Provinces of Bengal, Assam and the Punjab have 
been taken in their entirety as falling within the Muslim zones. In 
another chapter we have shown that only* portions of these Pro- 


vinces will fall within the Muslim zones. In that case the revenue 
as well as expenditure of these Provinces will be reduced, but to 
what extent it is difficult, if not impossible, to say accurately. The 
figures are not available district by district. At any rate it will 
involve a very complicated and prolonged investigation to get accu- 
rate figures district by district. A rough and ready method may 
be adopted, viz. the method of distributing the revenue and expen- 
diture of the Province between its Muslim and non-Muslim districts 
in proportion to the population of each. While this method may 
give a more or less correct idea of the revenue, side, it will give a 
wrong picture of the expenditure side. A Province or Federal 
Unit which is autonomous and sovereign has to maintain the 
various departments and the Head of the State with his staff for 
administrative purposes even though the unit be a small one. For 
example, if Bengal is split up into Muslim Bengal and non-Muslim 
Bengal, there will have to be two Heads of State with their respec- 
tive staffs instead of one, two Provincial Secretariats instead of 
one, and so on. The cost of district administration may continue 
as before but the cost of maintaining the Provincial Heads ?nd 
Secretariats will be very nearly doubled when the Province is 
divided into two units, one Muslim and the other non-Muslim. It 
is difficult to calculate what the actual expenditure will be, but it 
may be safely asserted that the Provincial administration will cost 
considerably more than what would be represented by a propor- 
tionate distribution of the present expenses on population basis as 
falling to the share of the Muslim districts of an existing Province. 
In taking therefore the expenditure of the Provinces of Bengal and 
the Punjab particularly we must be prepared for a heavier expendi- 
ture on the Provincial Head with his staff and the Provincial Secre- 
tariat than a mere proportionate share in the present expenditure on 
the population basis. The Province of Assam will not present the 
same difficulty as only one district of it, viz. Sylhet falls within the 
Muslim Zone and it will have to be tacked to Bengal and will not 
have to maintain a separate provincial administration. In other 
words, the budgets of the Punjab and Bengal which are 'shown as 
balanced budgets in Tables xxxiv & xtfxv will cease to be balanced 
budgets on the present basis of revenue when the non-Muslim 
districts are separated from them. The extent of the deficit cannot 
be calculated but that there will be a deficit which will not be incon- 
siderable there can be no doubt. This is borne out by the experience 
of provinces which have been carved out of other provinces. We 
have the recent_examles of JSind^and Orissa. Each^of 
its ^separaHionTias been una^e Jojx^ Sinf 

to make ieavjj^^^ 

have seen thaFSiM^^ets i crore^ lakhs a yeaFatitf Unssa got 43 
lakhs both in 1938-9 ind' in 1939-40. It is necessary to emphasize 


this aspect of the provincial finances, since IVoi Cotj^land in his 
otherwise careful analysis of the fijianesjofJPaHst^ 
that * provincial finance would operate more or less as~it has donejn 
unjiMded India/ 2 a.ndj^a&ilfit^ 

jotojt at all- Sjr^HoElL^isdy and DJMrtthai in their memoran- 
dum toTfie Sajgru Committee have also omitted to mention tffis!) 

It is unnecessaTyTcTgive the figures of revenues and expndi- 
tures of the Muslim districts of Bengal, Assam and the Punjab 
calculated separately on the basis of their population. It may only 
be stated that the Copulation of the Muslim districts of these pro- 
vinces will be : Bengal 67.9 per cent, Assam 30.5 per cent and the 
Punjab 59.4 per cent of their total respective populations. 

It now remains to consider what proportion of the revenue and 
expenditure of the Central Government of India would be allotted 
to the North-Western and the Eastern Muslim Federations. As 
stated above the difficulty in obtaining exact figures is more or less 
insurmountable. Erof. Coupland in TheJFuture of India and Sir 
Homi Mody and Din^fTMr"Eave after coffipftcateH calculations 
arrived at certain figures which I shall adopt for my present pur- 
poses except where otherwise indicated. Prof. Coupland gives the 
figures for 1938-9. Sir Homi Mody and Dr Matthai, who have 
adopted the same method as Prof. Coupland with some modifica- 
tions, have calculated the figures for 1939-40. We have thus got 
the figures for the same two years as in the case of the provinces 
and these are given in Tables xxxviii & xxxix opposite. 

From these tables it will be noticed that the revenue from 
Railways shows a great difference as calculated by Prof. Coupland 
and Sir Homi Mody and Dr Matthai. Prof. Coupland has pointed 
out that ' thej&ailways in fakistaji territory worked in 1938-9 at a 
Hiet profit of 128 lakhs ojljjie commercial lines and a net loss of 182 
lakhs on the strategic linesT^ Hef does not take into account the 
loss oh the strategTc IFffes as these are considered separately in 
connexion With defence. Even so the figure 150 lakhs would not 
be reached but he takes that figure on the basis of expected increase 
in the earnings by reason of enhancement of passenger freights. 
It is obvious that this method unjustifiably increases the revenue, 
which on Pr 'of ;. . Coualand' s own figures ought to be (128- 182) =-54 
lakhs ancTthe total_ revenue, for tJbeJNor^ I 938-9 

would be 732.05 lakhs instead 01^936.05 lakhs. 

In calculating the ^xpenaiturF^foT^Cbupland has not taken 
into consideration several items which he has mentioned and it is 
feared generally that the expenditure of maintaining the parapher- 
nalia of an independent sovereign state would be very much higher 
than is estimated, inasmuch as in the case of an independent federal 

2. R. Coupland ; " The Future of India *\ p. 91. 


(In lakhs of Rs.) 





Central "^jj!**" 11 













Corporation Tex 





Other Income-taxes 













* - 







Posts & Telegraphs 
Currency & Mint 

M .10 




Other heads 




1 6 









(In lakhs of Rs.) 

1938-39 * 

North-Western Item 

Direct demands 
on Revenue *t23.60 

51 A9 

Irrigation 9.2^ 


Debt Services 1338.5^ 


Administration 98^,69 

Civil Works 219,53 

, 11*5.56 

Miscellaneous* 20^.32 


Defence W18.00 

Contributions & 
Adjustments r 306*32 


Total 8lO*f,29 



Administration 1**5.8 

Debt Services 216. k 

Allowances ^0.7 

to Provinces 205.0 

Other items 30.^4 

Total " '638.3 





*R. Coupland : " The Future of India^', p, 92, 

**Sir Homi Mody & Dr Matthai : " A Memorandum on the Economic an4 Financial 
Aspects of Pakistan ", p. 7. 

3. The figures in the text are those of 1938-9 and 1939-40. Table XL overleaf gives them 
more uptodate, being taken from the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the Budget of 
the Government of India for 1945-6. The figures for the Provinces are for all Provinces put 
together, and not for each Province separately. But the general trend remains unaffected by 
the War which has brought a temporary prosperity to the Punjab and Sind ; while the 
deficit in Bengal has been very much increased. Sind has paid, off its debt and needs no 
subvention, which is discontinued as from 1943-4. The subvention position remains un- 
changed in the N.-W.F.P. and Assam. (Vide Table XXXIII, p. 301) 


(Footnote 3 on p. 307) 
India's Public Revenue, Expenditure and Debt since 1938-1939 

(In lakhs of Rs.) 

1958-9 1939-40 1944-5 Total 1939-40 1 945-6 
(Revised) to 1944-5 (Budget) 

3; Central Government Budget 

1 Revenue 84.52 94.57 356.88 1,123.61 362.34 
3 Expenditure c 85.15 94.57 512.65 1,599.55 517.63 

3 Surplus(+) or Deficit(-) -0.63 .. -155-77 -476.94 -155-29 

4 Percentage of (1) to (2) 99*3 100.0 69.7 70,2 70.0 

II Total Governmental Outlays 

A On India's Account 85.15 94.57 572.06 1,478.93 " 535.39 

r 1 Civil Expenditure >3.9? 45.03 115-42 132.22 123.40 

2 Defence Expenditure 46.18 49.54 456.64 1,346. 71 411.99 

(a) On Capital Account .. .. 59,41 -149.38 17.76 

(b) On Revenue Account 46.18 49.54 397.2?. 1,197.33 394.23 
(i) Basic normal budget 38.07 36.77 36.77^ 220.62 36.77 

(ii) Rise in prices ,. 1.19 16.92 47.48 19.76 

(iii) War Measures (net) ., 3.52 334.22 878. 46 328.51 

(iv) Non-effective 

charges (net) 8.11 8.07 9.32 50.80 9-19 

3 Percentage of Defence 
Expenditure (revenue 

account) to expenditure 54.2 52.4 77.5 74.9 76.2 

B Recoverable War Expenditure .. 4.00 439.53 1,393.88 488.80 

III Central Government Debt 
at end of year - Total 
interest-bearing obliga- 
tions (including unfunded 

debt and deposits) 1, 205.76 1,203.86 1,819.02 .., 2,180.57 

IV provinces 

1 Revenue {> 84.74 90.83 200.78 784.12 188.17 

2 Expenditure 85.76 89.22 208.05 767.96 191.74 

3 Surplu0(+) or'DeficitC-) ^.02 +1.61 -7.27 +16.16 -3.57 

k Debt position 

"* (Groes Total Debts) 163.20 16?. 61 215.49 52.29 

*Including new taxation, 

'Includes (1) Permanent debt, (2) Floating debt, (3) Unfunded debt, and (4) Loans " 
from Central Government 


administration the same considerations will arise as have been 
indicated above in the case of a new provincial administration. But 
accepting the figures as they are we find that there will be a surplus 
of 93.02 lakhs in the North- West Zone on the basis of the figures~of 
i^3S^9*and of 238.5 lakhs on those of 1939-40- Thcost of defence 
has not been mHuxTed in the abqye^statements amTiFTiaS to be 
consI3ei : ed^whetTier this'small surplus wiTTbe " aBIeloTtneeYtBe cost 
of defence in the North-West Independent Muslim State. Prof. 
\^osesymjmt^ of view is 

;hr^ieTfo^Fms^ book, comes fa {he^clear conclusion ffiaYfi 

- <- r L ' ' ,- _._. 

possible. Jpj^tfoe lifliJjaJ^^^ 

IHence! His conclusion may be stated in his own words : 4 It 
appears" then that the greatest diftkuHj jojM^kistan and its gravest 
risk lie in Defence. If the probabilities discussed above are really 
l57o5aBTe",Tt would have to face the prospect of defending the North- 
Western Frontier without the help of Hindu India; and to do that 
on anything like the same scale as it was done before the war, even 
without considering the increased cost of modern armament, would 
be far beyond its powers. Even to raise a substantial fraction of 
the money needed would require such extra taxation oft the ooe 
hand and such drastic cutting down of administrative cost and 
social services on the other as would greatly lower the general 
standard of living and not only render the backward masses of the 
people still more backward but doorh them to that state for years 
to come. And that might not be all. Might there not be some 
uji2detx_%s to the ra s^etx,of,Paki&taja^ Eastern Frontier too? In the 
earlier part of this chapter an attempt was made to state the advan- 
tages of partition as objectively as possible, and the examination of 
its disadvantages must be no less objective. What, then, is the 
conclusion to which the facts or the reasonable probabilities point 
in this crucial matter of J^_enc ? Is it not clear beyond dispute 
that PakistaivwpuW aiot-b enable to maintain the .security it has 
hitherto iiioyed as part of India ? Even the minimum necessities' 
of defence would strain its resources to the utmost and, hold up the 
social advancement of its people. For the rest it would have to 
take the risk/ 4 In support of his views he has also quoted from a 
speech of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan in the Punjab Legislative 

Prof. Coupland has not dealt with the Eastern Zone nor has he 
dealt with the Muslim Zones excluding the non-Muslim Districts. 
Sir Hotni Mody and Dr Matthai have dealt with both. In the above 
statement the figures for the Eastern Zone, taking the two entire 
provinces of Bengal and Assam, are given. Table xli overleaf gives 
the net revenue and expenditure of the Eastern and North- Western 
Zones district-wise, i.e. excluding the non-MusHm districts : 

4. Coupland, op. cit, pp. 95-6. 




Revenue & Expenditure of Muslim Zones District-wise, 1939*1940* 

(In lakhs of Rs.) 



Central *oia 
Corporation Tax 
Other Income-taxes 

Posts & 5Jole grapha 
Currency & Mint 


Revenue Net Expenditure 
Eastern ifortfa-Western Tf-Mn Eastern North-West 
Zone Zone Iten 2ont Zone 


^ 02. 2 




' 12.0 Services 












to Provinces 



- 22.0 


Other Items 





It will appear that the surpluses will be reduced but not so the 
needs of Defence which may be considered from another point of 
view. It will not tie a correct approach to the problems of Defence 
to^allot the expenditure on it on the basis of the population in the 
two Zones. Both of them are on the frontier and they will have 
naturally to tieaif'fKe 'burden of defending the frontiers against 
foreign Invasion by land. The liability of the North- Western Fron- 
tier to such invasion has long been the accepted policy of rulers of 
India not only during the British period but also during the Muslim 
period ever since the early days of the Sultanate. The liability of 
the Eastern Frontier has become apparent in the course of World 
War II and cannot be ignored in the future. It is true that the 
coastline falling within the two Muslim Zones will' not be very 
extensive but they will have none the less to maintain adequate 
naval defence also. Taking the cost of Defence as it was before 
the War 'and dividing it on the basis of population, unsatisfactory 
and even misleading as that basis is, we get results as embodied in 
Table xlii opposite, showing a heavy deficit on account of Defence 
even though it does not take into account any increased expenditure 
on account of mechanized armaments which will be necessary in 
future. rt^'" 

There is another aspect of the question of Defence which can- 
not be ignored. When we have a separate independent Muslim 
State, it will have to maintain its own Defence forces drawn from 
among its own nationals and pay for them. The rest of India will 
have to maintain its own Defence services composed of its nationals 
and pay for them. The financial implications of this separation, so 
far as the Defence Services are concerned, will be w hjghly disadvan- 
tageous to flie NortlP^esfMuslim State. Dr AmbedkaFhas ooint- 
*kodi ftlfotttudTop. cit, P- 9. 


Deficit on account of Defence Expenditure in Muslim Zones 

Eastern Zone (In lakhs of Rs.) 
On Provincial Basis On District Basis 





_J<S fi 

1197.8 152.9 

Western Zone (In lakhs of Rs.) 
642.01 548.99 
619.76 381.26 164.5 

ed out that the Indian Arnicas it was constituted in 1930 comprised 
58.5 per cent of its personnel from among the inhabitants of the 
regions which fall within the North-Western Zone. 5 The propor- 
tion of Musalmars in the Indian Army has been separately calculat- 
ed and Dr Ambedkar points out that they constitute 36 per cent of 
the Indian infantry and 30 per cent of the Indian cavalry and they 
come almost exclusively from the Punjab and the N.-W.F. Pro- 
vinces. With the separation of this Zone froYn the rest of India 
and its establishment as an independent state, the rest o/ India or 
Hindustan will naturally recruit its Defence Forces from among 
its own nationals and all those belonging to the North-Western 
Zone will be thrown out of the Defence Forces unless they are 
employed by the north-western independent State. The learned 
Doctor calculates that ' the Pakistan area which is the main recruit- 
ing ground of the present Indian Army contributes very little to 
the Central exchequer as will be seen from the following figures : 


Contributions to the Central Exchequer : 

Punjab . . . . Rs. 1,18,01,385 

N.-W.F.P. . . ,, 9,28,294 

Sind . . . . 5,86,46,915 

Baluchistan . . Nil 

Total Rs. 7>i376,594 

' Against this the Provinces of Hindustan contribute as 
follows : 









U. P. 


C. P. & Berar 



Total Rs. 51,91,27,729 

5. Dr B. H, Ambedkar: " Thoughts on Pakistan", p. 70. 6, ibid., pp. 76-7. 

-(only half revenue 
is shown because 
1,54,37,742 nearly half popula- 

31,42,682 tion is Hindu.) 


' The Pakistan Provinces, it will be seen, contribute very little. 
The main contribution comes from the Provinces of Hindustan. In 
fact it is the money contributed by the Provinces of Hindustan 
which enables the Government of India to carry out its activities in 
the Pakistan Provinces. The PaJ^JLaaJEraYinces^ are a drain on 
the Provinces of Hindu^lir~lS] r ot only do they ''contribute very 
little to the Central Government but they receive a great deal from 
the Central Government. The revenue of the Central Government 
amounts to Rs. 126 crores. Of this about Rs. 52 crores are annually 
spent on the Arnf^T"^! what area is this 'amount spent ? Who 
pays the bulk of this amount of Rs. 52 crores ? The bulk of this 
amount of Rs. 52 crores which is spent on the Army is spent over 
the Muslim* Army drawn from the Pakistan arfea. Now the bulk 
of this amount of Rs. 52 crores is contributed by the Hindu Pro- 
vinces and is spent on an Army which for the most part consists of 
non-Hindus/ 7 

It is thus clear that the North-Western Region will not only 
lose the benefit of the huge amount that the Central Government 
of India collects from the rest of India and spends within the N.-W. 
Region but will have to find money for supporting its forces. There 
wilt-be loSs of income which the people of that region derive 
through their employment in the Army and on top of that they will 
have tQ be taxed for maintaining their own Army. Mr K. T. Shah 
points out that this ' invisible tribute ' comes to a very tidy sum. 
He says : * Because tlie Indian Army used to be recruited in a very 
large proportion from the Punjab, the pay, pensions and all allow- 
ances of these officers and men, including camp followers as well 
as profits of contractors amount to a very tidy sum. At the lowest 
this would amount to an invisible tribute to the Punjab of over 10 
crores per annum from the rest of India on the basis of pre-War 
expenditure on this head. The War, needless to add, has increased 
it beyond recognition. In the post- War world It cannot fall much 
short of 25 crores per annum/ 8 

This anticipated loss to the Province must have been one of 

V U J!f J*n*l fx "IMJJfcfn^nlW <-"l* V 

the reasons wj^y Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan insisted that in case of 
any revision of boundaries or establishment of regional govern- 
ments as contemplated in hi k s scheme, the proportion of Muslims 
in the Army should not be less than what it was on the ist January 
1937. During World War II also the North- Western Zone has 
furnished a large proportion olTpmbatants to the Indian Army 
and thus derived the benefits mentionedT>y Mr K. T. Shah. It was 
stated by the War Secretary in the Central Assembly in March 
1945 in reply to a question that of the total enrolment, combatants, 
of the Indian Army the Punjab furnished 29.9 per cent, N.-W.F.P. 
4 per cent and Sind 0.4 per cent, a total of^f.^ per cent in all. 
K Ambedkar, op. cit, ppT$6-7, 8. K. T. Shah : " Wfiy Mistan? Why Not? ", p. 164. 

Public Debt (1939-1940) 

The public debt of the Central and Provincial Governments in 
India stood as follows at the close of 1939-1940 : 

Public Debt in 1939-1940 
Central Government: 

In India Rs. 5,05,51,10,816 

In England 3 2 9>3 28 >394 

Total 'Rs. 9,44,61,55,399 (on the basis of Rs. 13-1/3 

per ) 

Bengal Rs, 30,00,000 

Assam 50,00,000 

Punjab 34,05,50,515 

N.-W.F.P. 57>24,900 f Total Rs. 63,19,52,167 

Sind 23,56,76,752 

Coorg 3,62,582 

Madras 11,96,92,319 

Bombay 31,18,72,720 

U.P. 3i,i3,9 2 ,886 

Bihar Nil 

C.P. & Berar * 4,88,40,863 

Orissa Nil 

Total Rs. 1,43,21,12,937 

Out of the total Public Debt of 143 crores wjiich the Provinces 
owe, the Governments of the Punjab, Sind, and N.-W.F.P. owe 
over Rs. 63 crores. Most of it, however, is invested in irrigation 
works which are a paying concern in the Punjab and bid fair to 
become so in Sind also. The Eastern Zone has no public debts 
worth the name. 

9. The following table brings up to date the debt position in the Provinces collectively. 


Debt Position of Provinces since 1936-37 

(In crores of Rs.) 

At the end of At the end of 


I Public Debt 
; (a) Permanent Debt 15-07 50.92 

(b) Floating Debt 1.50 68.23 

(c) Loans from Central 

Government 123.2^ 66.57 

H tfaf unded Debt 23-39 29.77 

III Gross Total Debt 

(Total of I 8c II) 163.20 215.^9 

IV Net Debt (Deducting out- 

i tan ding loans and . , 

idvances made by 

>rovincial Governments) , 102.48 185-79 


It will, however, be a very complicated kind of accounting 
when the Public Debt of India has to be distributed between 
Muslim and non-Muslim Zones in case of separation. But there 
can be no doubt the North- West and Eastern Zones will have to 
bear their burden which will not be a light one. 

Besides, the public debt of the Central Government has increas- 
ed enormously during the war. Any calculation based on the 
figures of 1939-40 will be thoroughly misleading. It will be nearly 
2,000 erores in place of 944^ crores in 1939-40 ; and even on the 
basis of a pro rata distribution according to the population of the 
Muslim districts in the two Zones, their share together with their 
own debts will come to something like 500 crores, the interest on 
which at 3 per cent will come to something like 15 crores a year 
which is nearly double of what the two Zones will have in hand 
after meeting the administrative expenses alovie exclusive of the 
cost of Defence. But as stated above the allotment of liabilities 
will not be so simple but a most taxing and complicated affair. Sir 
Ardeshir Dalai has pointed out : ' The economic and financial diffi- 
culties of splitting* up this unit [British India] into a number of 
fragments arc so great as to be well-nigh insuperable. The Rail- 
v?iys, Posts and Telegraphs, Irrigation and Water Works have to 
be cut up. Adequate adjustments with regard 'to the national debt 
incurred on all these projects will have to be broken up and created 
anew. The Army will similarly have to be broken up and past 
liabilities and future expenditure adjusted. A large sum of money 
has been spent out of the revenues of India on projects, such as the 
Sukkur Barrage in Sind. Payment will have to be made by 
Pakistan for tEIs'as well as for similar expenditure incurred by the 
Government of India for capital works inside Pakistan and counter- 
balanced against the Pakistan share of capital expenditure incurred 
by the Government of India in Hindustan. When all these compli- 
cated, difficult and heart-breaking processes have been gone 
through, if they can be gone throug'h without innumerable bicker- 
ings and trouble, Pakistan, will emerge out of it a comparatively 
souceless State. With innumerable problems immediately 
to be hajnidT^ a burden of debt difficult to repay, it will cut itself 
off from the, great economic and industrial future which a self- 
governing India may look forward to/ 10 

10. Interest-bearing Obligations and Interest-yielding Assets ol the Government of India 

(Explanatory Memorandum) ' 

Table XLVI brings up to date the Debt position in detail. In considering this table it 
must be btfrne in mind that even if the estimate of the Debt Outstanding on 31-3-1946 is not 
reached, as given in the Budget for 1945-6, because of the War coming to an end earlier than 
anticipated, the actual debt has very substantially increased, it would be substantially over 
Hs. 2,000 crores, and the provincial share would be in proportion. 

(a) The outstandings at the end of each year are shown in the statement, (b) Sterling 
obligations have been converted into rupees at Is. 6d. per rupee. 

Provinces have already their own debt, not all of it covered by productive assets. The 
share of the Government of India debt, which on partition will fail to their 'iot, would be so 


Railways (1939*40) (In thousands of Rs.) 

Percentage of 

Percentage of 

Railways System 

Total Capital 
at charge 




working expen- 
ses to gross 

net earnings 
on total capi- 
tal at charge 

Assam Be toga 1 










Bengal and N.W. 











Bengal Ksgpur 











,B. 8t C.I.- 











Eastern Bengal 



61 36 







East Indian 











a. I. P. 











if. 8. H. 








i 61 



Korth Western 












Rohilkhand and 











South Indian 











'North Western 












Forth Western 











- 1.48 

much additional burden ; and there is a much greater proportion of unproducti'ie debt in the 
Central Government than in the Provincial account. 

The Assets listed, ar against the Debt, are, in several cases, of doubtful productive 
character, e.g. Sterling securities, or the Burma Debt. If any of these are unrealizable, or do 
not bear interest to support their own burden, the incidence will be pro rata greater on the 
Provinces individually. A close scrutiny of every asset would be necessary before final allo- 
cation is made. 

Non-effective charges of Pensions etc. are not yet settled, as regards the war expenditure 
directly chargeable to India's account, under the agreement of October, 1939. 


Explanatory Memorandum Budget 1945-6 Government of India 

Interest-bearing Obligations and Interest-yielding Assets of Government of India 

(In crores of Rupees) 

In India 

Public Debt 

Treasuiy Bills and Ways and Means 

(Pre-War year) 

437. B7 
46. K) 

Unfunded Debt 
Service Funds 

Post Office Savings Bank including 
Defence Savings Bank 

Post Office Cash and Defence Savings 
State Provident Funds 
National Savings Certificates 
Other Items 

Total Unfunded Debt 


Depreciation and Reserve Funds 
Other Deposits t 

Total - Obligations in- India 

(Continued overleaf) 

484 . 1 7 

1 .03 




p ' ||f ' *" 

(Budget Estimate) 

1 ,484.43 








Of these principal railways in British India, the Eastern Bengal 
Railway falls almost entirely arid ttrerA^saln Bengal partially with- 
in the Eastern Zone. The total capital investment on them comes 
to Rs. 79.55 crores and their net earnings to Rs. i crore 28.45 lakhs 
or at 1.6 per cent. The N.-W. Railway which falls almost entirely 
within the North- Western Zone has a total investment of Rs. 153.26 
crores and earns a net profit of Rs. 4 crores 93.34 lakhs, which 
works out at 3.22 per cent on the investment. It will be seen that 
the net earnings of the railways falling within the two zones are 
lower than those of any other principal railway in British India, 
and in this respect ftlso the Muslim Zones are in a worse position 
than the other parts of British India. This aspect of railway 
finance has assumed larger importance now, inasmuch as most, if 
not all, of the principal railways are now State Railways and any 
profits that they can earn will go to the revenues of the various 
States, or else any loss on account of interest payable on the invest- 
ment which they may incur will have to be borne out of the reve- 
nues of the State to which they will belong. 

TABLE XLVI (Continued from p. 315, Footnote 10) 
IE. England 

Public Debt f 

Loans 396,50 1J.42 

War Contribution " 20.62 20.62 

Capital portion of annuities created 
in purchase of Railways 

Unfunded Debt 

Service Funds 4/18 3.55 

Total obligations in England 469.12 63.60 

Total interest-bearing obligations 1,205*76 2,206.58 

Interest Yielding Assets 

Capital advanced to Railways 725.24 797.?8 

Capital advsticed to other 

Commercial Departments 27.42 42.10 

Capital advanced to Province* 123.28 76,97 

Capital advanced to Indian States and 

other interest-bearing loans 20.71 18.65 

Debt due from Burma ^9*73 48.15 

Deposits with H.M.G, for redemption 

of Bailw&y liabilities .. 26.01 

9^6.38 1,009.26 

Cash securities held on treasury account 30,50 5^7.02 

Balance of total interest-bearing 

obligations not covered by above assets 229.08 ' 650*30 


L Arguments for Partition 

We have discussed at length the fundamental basis of a claim 
for the division of India into Muslim and non-Muslim States, 
namely, that the Hindus and the Musalmans constitute two sepa- 
'rate and independent nations. We have considered various schemes^ 
of division of India for cultural and political purposes and seen to 
what extent each of them conforms to or differs from the funda- 
mental basis laid down by the Resolution of the All-India Muslim 
League for creating independent Muslim Zoues in the North-West 
and East of India. The League has not given any detailed plan 
of partition and has contented itself with laying down in general 
terms the b^sis for division. We have had therefore to consider 
what areas in the light of the principles laid down by the League 
resolution can be constituted into such separate Zones and what 
the resources of such independent Muslim Zones are and are likely 
to be. We are now in a position to consider the proposal for parti- 
tion in a general way from the point of view of the separate Muslim 
Zones and the non-Muslim Zone and in the setting of international 
and world conditions as they are developing today. 

has summarized the argument for 

partition in a very cogent and forceful manner and I may not do 
better than quote him at length : 

'(r) In the first place the prospect of partition goes far to 
resolve that complex of pride and fear which has been the chief 
cause of the recent Deepening of the Hindu-Muslim schism. For 
more than half the Indian Muslims it eliminates t^e^yLiLa^a^Hindu 
Raj and^all it might mean for them immediately and ultimately7t>y 
~cuHiftg them clear out of its ambit. And Partition ministers to 
their pride_by_cpjavorjting jrtiem^rom^a minority in_oae ^reat State 
into aTTtiiajority in two smaller ones, and by rc^mz^^ 
al^irornferely a 'community Tn a coniposTF^Tiidiaji Nation But a 
n<itiQijJ?y themselves, entitled to its national independence in its 
national homelancls. Moreover it broadens their footing in the 
world. . . . Their States would stand side by side with the Muslim 
States of the Middle East. They would be more fullyconscious 
than they can be today that they belong to a great brotherhood 
whose homelands stretch far beyond the bounds of India. If, on 
the other hand, they turn their backs on the outer world, if they 
acquiesce in a permanent subjection to the Hindu ijiajority in an 
isolated fndia, they doom themselves to something like the fate of 
the minorities in Europe. ... 


'(2) Secondly, Pakistan, it is claimed, will siolve the minority 

Problem throughout India as nothing else can, Tf^aHopfrilie 
aTariC'e llTeory in a form in which alone it can be valid. Muslim 
States are balanced against one or more Hindu States, to which, 
whatever their size, they are equal in national status. There will 
still be minorities in them all. . . . But, though communal ^homoge- 
neity is an impracticable ideal, though there will be millions of 
Muslims in the Hindu States, not to mention other minorities, 
they will no longer constitute a serious problem, for the simple 
reason that the inter-communal struggle for power, precipitated by 
the mere approach of India's final liberation from neutral British 
control, will cease to exist in the Partition States. Coalition Go- 
vernments and other statutory safeguards for minorities are part 
of the League's programme for the Muslim States; but it will be 
recognized they are essentially Muslim States in which Muslim 
policy and culture will predominate, just as the Hin/u States will 
be essentially Hindu. Nor will their respective minorities be en- 
couraged any longer to keep up their quarrel with the majorities 
... to ensure a communal ascendancy at the all-India centre. There 
wilfrbe no 1 such centre. . . . And the majorities, it is argued, are more 
likely to discharge this responsibility and the minorities similarly 
to become reconciled to their position because it will be under- 
stood on both sides that in the last resort the " hostage " principle 
can be brought into play more effectively between independent 
States than between Federated Provinces. 

'(3) Thirdly, it is claimed that Partition will ease tliQ problem 
of defence for all India. . . . The North-West Frontier will lose all 
importance "qpce. a Muslim state is established in the North- West. 
The tribesmen and the people beyond the frontier are all Muslims. 
They will lose all religious and political fervour for jehad against 
non-Muslims once they find that they have to reckon with their 
brothers in Islam. . . . The position could be stabilised, moreover, 
by non-aggression treaties of full-scale alliances between Pakistan 
and her Muslim Tiefgfibburs. Why should she not make a fifth 
subscriber to the Pad: of Saadabad which bound together Turkey, 
Iraq, Persia ar^d Afghanistan for mutual security in 1937 ? 

'(4) Fourthly, in an undivided India, when jniilitary. organi- 
zation is in Indian and mainly Hindu hands, the proportion of 
Muslims in thejfndian army islbound tpjbejediiged ---- In the event 
tFe^propcftrbh "oTTSuslmf soldiers, which in 1939 was more than 
one-third and is now 30.8 per cent, would fall to less than one 
quarter. This would not only affect the standard of living in the 
Punjab, which, as has often been pointed out, owes so much to the 
pay and t pensions of^PuAJaM,troiOs. [It would" give 


'(5) Fifthy, by Partition and bnlv by Partition, it is said, 


can In^aflJ^ 

tion. Hindu-Muslim antagonism has always had its economic 

side, and one of the cluelrjeaaans whyjjhjgj^ 

would give the Hindus to con- 
n tlielFeconpmic domination in all parts ofjndia. 


. . . The virtual monopoly possessed by the Hindu shop-Keepers and 
money-lenders in retail trade and marketing even in an overwhelm- 
ingly Muslim countryside, the Hindu preponderance in the growth 
of urban life, in the new professional and commercial middle class, 
even in the Punjab or Sind all that was bad enough, but the rise 
of industrialism made matters worse. . . . The Nbrth-West Muslim 
homeland is overwhelmingly agrarian. Its population amounts to 
I2.3j)er cent of the population of British India, but so far as can be 
estimated, the proportion of its industries is only 5.1 per cent of 
those of British In'dia and that of it^njiner^ only 5.4 

percent. Bengal as a whole is much more highly industrialized. 
irhas 2Oj>j2rjcent of the population of British India, and, to reckon 
by the number of workers employed in factories^ 33 er cent of its 
industry. IJutjthe industriaLarea is mainly that oFpieBominantly 
Hjindu Calcutta andj.ts, nejghb^iyyfhaod ; apart from Calcutta the 
Sorth-EastlTusTint homeland is even more dominantly agricultural 
than the North-West. Indian industry, in fact, is located mainly 
in Hindu areas; it is financed and owned mainly by Hindu capita- 
lists; it provides livelihood mainly for Hindu labour. . . . Pakistan 
at least could control its own economy. In the North- West, at any 
rate, it could establish and protect its own industries. Instead of 
sending its raw cotton to the mills of Bombay, it could build more 
mills of its own and protect their products with a tariff. And later 
on if capital were available, it could apply its great reserves of 
^XSLtg^i^ further industrial development. Karachi, too, 
might be developed till it eclipsed Bombay as the port of entry for 
all North- West India . V.' 1 


II. Arguments for Partition Answered * 
Let us consider each of the points mentioned above. 
(i) It may be noted how difficult, if not impossible, it becomes 
to give^ cool and dispassionate consideration to such important 
matters' when prejudice and passion have been worked up to a high 
pitch. Ordinarily the comjglex^jLpiicIe ought to be an antidote to 
the conifilex_Q f . f ear butff ~Pr of. Coupland's analysis is right, they 
both co-exist. What after all is the complex of fear due to ? Ever 
since the British acquired political power and took charge of the 
governance of India, it is they who have been governing and ruling 
the country. If Muslims have lost their position of advantage and 
superiority jt is not on account of Hindus 6r other non-Muslims of 

1. R. Coupland : "The Future of India", pp?>75~9. 


India abusing their political power of which they were deprived 
just as the Muslims had been. It is a historical fact that in the 
earlier days of British rule, the Muslims were more suspect 
than the Hindus and it is also undeniable that for some y&ars they 
were oppressed and suppressed more than the Hindus. /But it is 
equally undeniable that when it was discovered that the* Hindus 
were beginning to challenge the authority of the British they decid- 
ed that the time, had arrived when the policy of patting the Hindus 
on the back should be changed and the Muslims given their due 
turn of receiving a patting. The result of this Change in British 
policy has undoubtedly been the.creatipn.^fjauip.icion. and. distrust 
among the Hindus and Muslims of each other, leaving the third 
party in the unmolested and undisturbed possession of power for 
the time being. A dispassionate study of events and an unpreju- 
diced consideration of the situation should have created distrust of 
the ttfird party's motives and activities but unfortunately a curious 
twist has been given. The backwardness of the Muslims cannot 
be attributed to anything that the Hindus were primarily respon- 
sible for, but to the policy of the British Government in whose 
h^nds all power has remained concentrated for more than 150 
years. Such power as has been ostensibly transferred to Indian 
hands has been under the Acts of 1919 and 1935 f r the enactment 
of which also the entire responsibility rests with the British. Under 
the Act of 1935 the Muslims have been ruling in all the Provinces 
where they are in a majority and also in Assam where they are in 
a minority. Particularly in the two largest Provinces, the Punjab 
and Bengal, as also in Sind, Muslim rule has been uninterrupted 
since the inauguration of the Act in April 1937. The Central Go- 
vernment has all along remained British. Except for the brief 
period^ of 27 months the Hindu majority has had no chance of 
administering even the Provinces where the Muslims are in a mino- 
rity. If the Muslims have remained backward how can, the Hindu 
majority be blamed for it ? It has never had a chance in the Centre 
and but a short spell of a chance in the Hindu majority Provinces. 
What have the Muslim ministers done during the last eight years 
in the North-Western and. Eastern Zones foovercome rtfieob'sfacles 
in the way of progress of Muslims ? Tf if be assiime?TKanKey were 
unable to effect any radical reforms because of the opposition of 
the Hindu minority in those Provinces a proposition which cannot 
be sustained by any evidence then^ may it not be legitimately ask- 
ed hp^the position^wilHmprove by an outright separation, if the 
minorities continue aslTiey^are^bdajT^^ they 

shall be deprived of all political rights and otherwise so suppressed 
and depressed as to be unable to offer even constitutional resistance 
to the majority ? It would be a different matter if thvi minorities 
were to be eliminated by son*e means or other from each of the 


autonomous units of the independent Muslim States in the North- 
West and the East of India, and particularly from the Punjab and 
Bengal But that is not seriously suggested and it is clear, if what 
is stated in the League Resolution is accepted, that minorities will 
continue; and adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall 
be specifically provided in the constitutions for the prot^ption of 
their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative, and 
other rights and interests in consultation with them on a basis of 
reciprocity with the non-Muslim State. As we have seen they will 
not be a small minority in the Punjab where the Muslims will be 
only 57 per cent, nor even in the North- Western Zone where the 
Muslims will be only 62 per cent, if the whcfle of the Punjab is 
included in it; and not more than 75 per cent if the predominantly 
non-Muslim areas are excluded from the Zone. Similarly in the 
Eastern Zone if the whole of Bengal and Assam are included in it 
the Muslim proportion will be something between 51 and 52 per 
cent of the population, and in no case more than 69 per cent if the 
predominantly non-Muslim areas are excluded. It is therefore diffi- 
cult to see how these zones can be said to constitute Muslim States 
which necessarily implies and requires an overwhelming population 
of Muslims in them. Of course the Muslims will have the satisfac- 
tion of being in a ,majority in two smaller states instead of being a 
minority in one big state. The point which the Muslims have to 
consider is whether it is worth while cultivating and satisfying this 
sense of pride in view of the sacrifices involved in it. 

As regards broadening their footing in the world, that too 
depends to a large extent on their being Muslim States. \ There is 
no country in the world which is being ruled by the Muslims today 
where npn^Musluns form such a big minority as they will do in the 
North- Western and Eastern zones of India.] For the rest, there is 
nothing to prevent Muslims of India having their sympathies with 
Muslims of other countries. Indeed, Hindus have never stood in 
their way, although they have naturally expected that the Muslims 
will pull cheir full weight in the trials and tribulations of India also. 
Not long ago the non-Muslims rose like one man witb>the Muslims 
in defence of the rights <?f Muslims in other parts of the world in 
the days of the Khilafat agitation and suffered and sacrificed with 
them as much for the protection of the* rights of the Khalifa of the 
Muslims as for redressing the grievances ^Indians Hindus, Mus- 
lims and Sikhs alike in the Punjab. \The Hindus have done 
notfeiag against any Muslim country, anTT Tfiere is ITOn^ason to 
think why India should not join and be a signatory to a pact with 
the Muslim countries of the Middle East for mutual advantage! 
But after all is said and done it must be admitted that it is for-tfre 
Muslims to decide whether they will insist on a satisfaction of this 

pride in preference to their long- historical association and present 
.>< ' 


and future advantages which a strong, united India can enjoy as 
compared to a small state which is bound to be weaker than India 
as a whole and equally bound to weaken the rest of India. This 
cannot and ought not of course to deprive the non-Muslims of the 
areas concerned of their say in a matter of such vital importance 
to thcm^particularly when the proposed division cuts right across 
the history of eight centuries. 

That the non-Muslims of the areas concerned as also of the 
rest of India should look askance at the proposal of partition is 
i erfectly understandable in view of the effect that such a proposal 
will have on them, as also in view of the declared though long- 
range intentions of the protagonists of partition. It cannot be 
denied that a divided India will be weaker and will not be able to 
command the same hearing in international counsels that a strong 
united India will have. It will not be able to secure the same terms 
from other countries in the matter of trade facilities, its own in- 
dustrial development, and in a hundred other ways. This will be 
so especially in the ease of the Muslim Zones which will be admit- 
tedly smaller than Hie rest of India. But the latter, too, will suffer 
and suffer grievously on account of this partition. 

Rut more than this there is a genuine fear generated by the 
declarations of the protagonists of partition. I will quote here 
some extracts which will show that the fear of an attempt to re- 
establish Muslim rule in the wake of separation is not unfounded. 
Mr F. K. Khan Durrani introduces his book The Meaning of Pakistan 
with a Preface written so late as the juib of November 1943, in 
which the following passage occurs: There is not an inch of the 
soil of India which our fathers did not once purchase with their 
blood. Wejcannot.bc false tojhe blood of our fathers, fndia, the 
whole of ft, is therefore our heritage, and it must be reconquered for 
Islam. Expansion in the spiritual sense is an inherent necessity of 
our faith and implies no hatred or enmity towards the Hindus. 
Rather the reverse. Our ultimate ideal should be the unification 
of India, spiritually as well as politically, under the banner^of Islam. 
The final political salvation of India is not otherwise possible?* ] 

'It is necessary', says ^AJPunjabi', 'to make it clear thaFlEe 
separation of our regions frpm Hindu India isjnfitjan end in itself 
but only a means for the achievement of an ideal Islamic State. 
The proposed separation will undoubtedly lead to our emancipation 
from the economic slavery ptthe JSindus. But as our objective is 
the establishment of an ideal Islamiclbtate, it also denotes complete 
independence. After independence has been achieved, it would be 
impossible for us to maintain for long, in an un-Islamic world, our 
ideal of an Islamic State. As such, we^ shall have to advocate a 
world revolution on Isjamic lines. Consequently, our ultimate 

, Khan Durrani: "The MeaniriJTo^ Pakistan," p. x. 


ideal is a world revolution on purely Islamic lines. Separation, 
emancipation from economic slavery of the Hindus, and freedom 
from the constitutional slavery of the British are only some of the 
means for the achievement of our ultimate ideal of a world revo- 
lution on completely Islamic lines. 73 

'Muslim minorities have lived in the past in various purUs of 
the woftcToh 'thirtfirsrdf 'terms witTi the inenvKef s r oTotHef " 

ve never accepted the role of a minority whenever, in 
of their numbers or physical strength, they felt themselves 
strong enough to form an independent Muslim State. . . ThisjnaYe- 
nient forjndegendcnt Muslim States in India v*ill give a tremen- 
clolls^encburagemenf to simiTar moveilients it! China" and Russia 
where Muslims have so far been assigned the status of minorities. 

~~ Tn OnrtijaJLA"sia, Mitslims are a majority of 95 jxTr cent out of 
a population of 80^ millions and yet at present thfyTflRTJceffl under 
subjection by the ChinescL-ancl Soviet Governments, 

" 'IsTamlc'pblitical problems are everywhere of an allied nature. 
Liberation of one Muslim country will directly affect another. The 
tTffe of Muslims in India will have direct repercussions in other 
parts of the world, particularly in the Western Provinces of Chiya 
and Southern and Eastern parts of Russia where Muslims are in a 
majority. 'Acceptance of minority status within the sub-continent 
of India will besides sealing once for all the fate of qo million 
Muslims in India, lead to permanent enslavement of 30 millions j>f 
Muslims in Soviet Russia and $o millions in China. > 

v - *.' - "* r 

jt is quite natural to suppose that if India achieves inde- 
pendence as a united country under the aegis of the Congress, it 
will enter in future into permanent alliance with China and Russia 
so as to keep the Muslims in the latter three countries under perma- 
nent domination. The creation of an independent Muslim State in 
Central Asm will always be viewed with suspicion by the future 
Congress Government in India as this will lead to a movement for 
separation among the Muslims in India as well.' 4 

T The desire of the Indian Muslims to have Muslim States of 
their own is a part of a movement for the irnrfka^ 
World (Silsila4-Jamia-Vahdat-Umam-hlam} started in ^jjjjce-y -during 
'iKeTifetime and at the instance of the late AtatUKknfnder the 
patronage of the late Syed Jalil Ahmad Sinyush One of its aims 
is to create more Muslim republics in all those parts of the world 
which are predominantly Muslim, in addition to the Muslim States 
already functioning. Among the ten newly proposed republics one 
Is to consist of Muslim Bengal, another is to be constituted by the 
Muslim North- West India and the third bv the Hyderabad-State/ 3 

3. "Confederacy of India," by 'A Punjabi', pp. 269-70. 

4. Mr M. R. T. in "India's Problem of her Future Constitution," pp, 60*7, 

5. Ansari: ''Pakistanthe Problem of India/' p M 


" ' 111 view of these declarations no one can blame non-Muslims 
if they look upon the P^?aHor partition as the thin end of the 
wedge which in course w tune is Intended to^m&lete its work by 
reconquering India for Islam, by freeing the Muslims^ of Central 
Asia from the yoke of Chinajuid Russlajuid ultimately by bringing" 
afcout a world revolution on Islamic lines. The ambition of those 
who see these visions has (o be admired, even though they may 
have been seen in the background of suspicion and distrust of 
Hindus, Chinese and Russians, who are considered as having no 
other business than that of suppressing the Muslims for which 
there is no foundation. 

It may also be noted that this objective of the conquest of India 
and of the world for Islam belies the fear that the Hindu majority 
will oppress this virile Muslim minority with such high aspirations. 

(2) It is difficult to understand how the creation of two new 
Muslim States out of India will solve the minorities problem in 
India and in the new States. There is no country in the world 
which has a completely homogeneous population. In the very 
nature of things there are bound to be minorities in each country 
and India is no exception, nor will the Muslim and non-Muslim 
Zones of India after partition be exceptions. ** The expedient of 
doing away with the Muslim minority by exchange of population 
between the Muslim and non-Muslim Zones has been rightly ruled 
out as impracticable both on financial and human grounds. We 
have seen the size of minorities in the Muslim Zones. The non- 
Muslims in the North- West Zone will be 25 or 38 per cent of the 
population according as the predominantly non-Muslim districts 
of the Punjab are excluded from or included in the Muslim Zone. 
Similarly in the Eastern Zone the non-Muslims will constitute 31 
or 48 per cent of the population according as the non-Muslim 
districts of Bengal and Assam are excluded from or included in 
the Eastern Zone. If we take the North- Western anrl Eastern 
Zones together, the Muslim population will be 71.56 or" 55.23 per 
cent according as we exclude or include the non-Muslim districts 
of the Punjab, Assam and Bengal. The Muslims left behind in the 
non-Muslim sone of British India will be only 10.75 P er cent of its 
total population if we exclude the whole of the Punjab and the 
whole of Assam and Bengal from the non-Muslim zone and 13.22 
per cent if the non-Muslim districts are included in the non-Muslim 
zone and excluded from the Muslim zone; 

-" Out of a total population of 793.95 ^kh Muslims in British' 
India no less than 202.95 lakh (i.e. 25.59 per cent), or 299.94 lakh 
(i.e. 3777 per cent) Muslims will be left in the non-Muslim Zone, 
according as non-Muslim districts in Assam, Bengal and the 
Punjab are included in or excluded from the Muslim zones. Their 

Muslim Population in Non -Muslim Provinces 

(a; If the whole o! the Punjab and Bengal and Assam 
are included in Muslim Zones - , 

Pravine* T$t$l Popiatn. 

Province lft ^ h9 

Muslims Percentage of 
in lakhs Muslim to Total 









U. P. 








C .P. & Berar 







- 1.68 

Ajraer Merwars* 




Anda^ans and 
















Muslim Population in Non-Muslim Provinces 

(b) If non-Muslim Districts of the Punjab, Bengal ad Assam 
are excluded from Muslim Zones 

Province Population 

Muslims Percentage 

Bengal 193.42 



Assam 70.69 



Punjab 115.49 



Total 379.80 



Other Non-Muslim 

Provinces 1888, 01 



&rand Total 226?. 81 





Muslim Population in Muslim Provinces 



T & M M luf 

ir jion-M 

uslim Districts are Excluded 

If Non-Muslim Dts. are 


Province Poplatn Muslims cent 





409.65 287.10 70.08 





31.16 18.92 60.71 





168.70 123.63 73.25 





30.38 27.89 91.79 





45.35 32.08 ,70.75 


32. OS 


Baluchistan 5 .02 4.39 87.50 





690.26 494.01 71 .56. 





percentage trom Jfrovincc to Province will vary between 1.68 in 
Orissa and 15.30 in the U.P. and will be 33.22 in the small Province 
of Delhi. 

On the other hand the number of non-Muslims in the North- 
Western Zone will be 13840 lakhs or 61.46 lakhs and in the Eastern 
Zone 340.64 lakhs or 134.79 lakhs according as the non-Muslim 
districts are included in or excluded from the Muslim Zones. In 
other words, there will be no less than 4/9.04 lakhs or 196.25 lakhs 
of non-Muslims if the two Muslim Zones are taken together accord 
ing as non-Muslim districts are included in or excluded from them. 
Thus the total population of minorities Muslim and non-Muslim 
in the non-Muslim and Muslim Zones will be no less than 681.99 
or 496.19 lakhs according as non-Muslim districts are included or 
not in the Muslim Zones. 

There will thus be formidable minorities, if numbers are con- 
sidered, in the Hindu and Muslim Zones. The non-Muslim mino- 
rities will be much greater than the Muslim minorities, being no 
less than 25 or 38 per cent in the North- Western Zone and 31 or 48 
per cent in the Eastern Zone as against 13,22 per cent or 10,75 P er 
cent of Muslims in the non-Muslim Zones according as the predo- 
minantly non-Muslim districts are excluded from or included in 
the Muslim Zones. 

Thus while the Muslim minority in the non-Muslim Zone or 
Zones will be spread over a tremendously large area from the I lima 
layas to Cape ,Comorin and from Bengal to the Punjab, and so 
ineffective in any particular area, the non-Muslim minorities will 
be concentrated in the two Muslim Zones in a compact area and 
will be therefore quite effective as minorities in asserting their 
rights and demanding their privileges. 

Elimination of minorities A\ould be possible only if there is an 
exchange of population on a vast scale. Exchange of population can 
be on a voluntary basis or compulsory. Voluntary migration of so 
many millions of Muslims and non-Muslims from the n<5n-Musliin 
and Muslin), Zones is inconceivable. The experience of voluntary 
migration for exchange of population in the Balkans was most 
disappointing for the simple reason that the people would not move 
of their own 'accord out of their old surroundings. In India the 
attachment to land of both Hindus and Muslims is so grat that 
it can be safely asserted that neither would care to leave the locality 
where they had been settled simply to become members of an- 
other State. Nor is the experience which the Muslims had at the 
time of the Khilafat movement of hijrat likely to encourage any 
large-scale movement of populations. Besides the distance, the 
difference in the environments, languages, climatic conditions, 
mode and methods of living of the population among which the 
emigrants will have to settle down will be such as not onlv to 


discourage any such enterprise but altogether to rule it out. Then 
the cost of moving such large populations, uprooting them from 
where they have remained settled for generations and settling them 
in altogether new surroundings, and the loss of property involved 
in^ the process, even though compensation may be provided for, 
will impose a burden which neither the Muslim nor the non-Muslim 
States will be able to bear. The suffering will be immense and the 
scheme financially and administratively impossible of accomplish- 
ment; In case of compulsory exchange all these difficulties will be 
increased a hundred-fold, and to all the other difficulties will be 
added the difficulty of shifting the population under police and 
military guard which is unthinkable. Those who speak about the 
exchange of a few hundred thousands between Greece and Turkey 
ignore that in India it will involve 68 or at least 50 millions and 
the distances to be covered will be immense and the costs will be 
so tremendous that even if the slates are able to bear them, they 
will be crippled for a long time on account of this heavy burden 
which it will impose on them. 

The League Resolution suggests that adequate, effective and 
mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided for the pro- 
tection of their roligious, cultural, economic, political, administra- 
tive and other rights and interests in consultation with the mino- 
rities in the Muslim and non-Muslim zones. 

Now, if there are to be Muslim and non-Muslim independent 
States and if they have to frame their own constitutions how can 
any of such independent states be bound to provide such safe- 
guards? Supposing the independent states after their coming 
into existence refuse to make such provision in their respective 
Constitutions, how is any of them to be forced to do it ? Assuming 
that such safeguards are provided to begin with, but are altered 
to the disadvantage of the minorities or abrogated altogether, what 
is to be done to enforce the safeguards? Assuming they are 
allowed 10 remain a part of the Constitution but are not ffiven'cffect 
to or otherwise curtailed in their application, how is an independent 
state to enforce them in the other independent stale? It is of 
course presumed that the states will be independent and one will 
have no authority over the other nor will there be any central 
authority above both which may be charged with the duty of en 
forcing the provisions in the Constitutions. The use of the words 
mandatory and statutory will not improve matters, as there will 
be no authority to enforce the mandate and the states will be free 
to alter their statutes. 

Ttigje>Qenen^ t 

of minorities clauses of treaties \vas guaranteed by the League oi 
Nations d f oes not encourage the hope that any outside authority 
can be easily invoked to enforce tjictr observance ifi spite of such 


guarantee. The hostages theory cannot work in practice. One 
wrong cannot justify another. Even the old law of an eye 
for an eye and a tooth for a tooth did not provide for one 
man's eye or one man's tooth for the sin of another, nor 
did it justify the sin of one man being visited on another 
man; much less can any one justify on any human or moral 
principle the rule that one set of persons should be victimized 
or oppressed or tyrannized over for the fault of another set of men 
whom they do not know and to whose acts of commission or omis- 
sion they were not parties in even a remote manner and with whom 
they had nothing in common except that they both worshipped 
God in a particular way. To use the words of an eminent Musal- 
man, 'the hostage principle will not work, and if it does it will 
shift the basis of politics from civilization to barbarism.' 6 And 
despite what the protagonists of Pakistan may say I refuse to 
believe that the better mind of the Muslims or non-Muslims will 
ever consent to revert to this barbarism. 

The existence of separate and independent states makes it in- 
finitely more difficult for one state to enforce fair treatment of any 
grOup of its own citizens by another than if both were members of a 
federated state. There is only one peaceful method open to each in- 
dependent state in any such emergency, viz. diplomatic representa- 
tion. That failing, war is the only sanction left. It may be only eco- 
nomic war or it may take the shape of war with arms. It is not easy 
to have a war for even serious complaints unless the people on both 
sides are brought to a stage when no other alternative is left. It is 
certainly not possible for pin-pricks. No state will enibark on the 
hazards of a war unless it is seriously hit and the chances are that 
when it comes to deciding in favour of it or against it, the interests 
of the people of the state will weigh very heavily as against the 
interests of their co-religionist minority in a remote d'nd distant 
corner of the country. 

Nor is it all a theoretical discussion. 

in existence next door to India. They have never in historj^sp far 
gone To" wa f "whjxJwtift -becaits eJ.h^MusInt\s_l}iere were ill-treated. 
Not a "ripple t \vas noticed ,on the placid waters of those Muslim 
states when the so-called atrocities were perpetrated on Muslims 
in India either by the British during their long rule or 'by the 
Congress Governments during their short administration of 27 
months. Not even did the Muslim League ministries in the Punjab 
or Bengal or Sind raise their little finger when the Congress minis- 
tries are said to have misbehaved. It is all moonshine to imagine 
that the creation of two new Muslim States \vill alter the position 
to such an extent as to ensure and enforce fair treatment of Mus- 
t lims in the non-Muslim zones or vice versa. Minorities have in 

6. Sir Sultan Ahmad- "A Treaty betv/fen India and the United Kingdom/' p. ft. 


all cases to depend on the fundamentals of human nature and those 
universal moral and human rules which govern the conduct of all 
civilized persons, whatever their religion. It is no good insisting 
that the non-Muslims are incapable of having any other objective 
than that of oppressing and tyrannizing over the Muslims and that 
the non-Muslims at the same time must accept that the Muslims 
are incapable of doing an unjust or unfair thing towards non- 
Muslims. There is a certain naivete in the assertion openly made 
or the assumption tacitly madfc th&t the Muslims cannot trust the 
non-Muslims and cannot therefore subniitToa "Central Government 

^ it's powers and however 

dfcumscriFed itsTunctions may be, and that at the same time the 
non-Muslims must trust the Muslims and accept their assurance 
that they will give them a fair deal. If Jtrust beget sjrust, distrust 
equally begets distrust, and if you clilnTlSirtlie non-Muslfms^and 
qlTestiorTTHeir "BonaTfTSe's at every step you have no rijghtMjOjgJ^pcct 
that the latter will not return the conigllment. The creation of 
indeperideliTstales does ""not 5olve"Tlie minority problem. It makes 
it more difficult of soTuTion." Tt leaves the minorities, "wBether 
Muslim or non-Muslim, in the independent states morfi helpless, 
less capable of taking care of themselves, and worse situated in 
regard to the invocation of any outside authority for enforcing their 

(3) & (4) Nor will Pakistan ease the problem of the defence 
of India either on the North- Western or Eastern Frontier of India. 
It is said that the tribesmen and people beyond the North- Western 
Frontier are all Muslims, and once a Muslim State is established 
there, they will lose all religious and political fervour for jehad 
against non-Muslims. This hope has no basis in fact and no 
warrant ift higtpjry. It will not be for the first time in Indian history 
tlraTTFiere will be a Muslim state in India. Indeed, right from the 
time wh&i Outbiuldin Aibak made himself the Sultan of Delhi clown 
to the tfiie when the Sikhs established themselves a% rulers in the 
North- Western corner of India there has always been a Muslim 
state. All the invasions of India from^that corner during this long 
period of more than 600 years were b^ JMUjslims against^ Muslin) 
filler^ and not against Hindu rulers asTt^er^vSs flTTHmdu ruler 
then. Since as early TsnElTe"da}'s of Allauddin Khilji the Muslim 
Sultans of Delhi have had to combat tfie danger of ever .recurring 
raids from the North- West. Allauddin had effectively to garrison 
the frontier outposts of the kingdom, but Muslim raiders and in- 
vaders came again and again. And this remained the policy all 
through the period of Muslim rule. To mention only the most 
well known of the invasions it will suffice to say that the invasions 
of Timur* Rabar, Nadir Shah and.Ahmad Shah Abdali were all led 


by Muslims agaiiijLMu_slim king^of India and there is no warrant 
in history for the very facile and compTacent assumption that once 
a Muslim State is established in the North-West all danger of 
invasion will on that account cease to operate. An invasion in 
these days may not T5Feasy,~T)uf it will be for other reasons and not 
because there is a Muslim State on the North-Western Frontier 
that an invasion will not occur. 

It is not only against the Muslim rulers of India that other 
Muslims have led expeditions or vice versa. Musalmans have 
fought amongst themselves for power, forjthron&, and for kingdom. 
Islam, in spite of its' teaching that all differences of race and country 
should disappear the moment people adopt it, has not succeeded 
in preventing these wars between Muslim and Muslim any more 
than Christianity has succeeded in outlawing war even among 
Christians. Not to gx> very far into past history, '\vc know that the 
Arabs did not hesitate to fight the Turks during the first World 
War. When the Muslims of Hindustan were doing their best 
to help the Sultan of Turkey to maintain his power and prestige as 
KhalifajQl til? Musalmans, the Arabs \vere revolting against him. 
IrTPersia Raza Shah Pahlavi, who is justly regarded as the maker 
of modern Persia, has had to vacate his throne jind spend his last 
days in exile on account of the intrigues and machinations of 
European powers helped and supported by Muslims of his own 
country. Between the First Great War and the Second, Afghani- 
stan has seen at least two revolutions King^ Anianullah being* re- 
placed by TSachchasakka and Bachcha^akka Being replaced by KadiT" 
Shahall Muslimsfitncloubtedly. Even today an attempt is beiii{4 
made to bring nearer to each other the various Arab States leaving 
alone the Turks, the Persians and the Afghans. Islam has thus not 
been able to knit together all Muslims of different races and 
nationalities or even of the same country and while one hopes tha< 
not only Muslims but all nations will have the good sense and 
intelligence to learn to live together without war and bloodshed, it 
is no use pretending" that Muslim States are not capable o Centering 
upon an adventure of war against one another. 

This is so far as invasion from the North- West is concerned 
There is not e\ en this excuse available as regards the Eastern Fron- 
tier which is now no less exposed than the North- WjfsteniT^fon tier 
The only effect of the creation of an independent Muslim State on 
the East will be to deprive non-Muslim India of its natural defence 
without* any corresponding gain to the Muslim state of the sort 
pleaded in favour of the North-Western Muslim Zone. 

The argument, such as it is, is applicable only to the North- 
Western Muslim Zone. The very reason that it is put forward as 
an argument in favour of easing the problem of defence makes the 
question of defence of the non-Muslim zone more difficult. If there 


is religious and political fervour for jeluid against a non-Muslim 
State of India, the same will become intensified by the creation of 
a Muslim State within the natural boundaries of India, when the 
strong natural defence offered by the mountains on the North-West 
of India is given up by non-Muslim India and it is left to defend 
its territory as best it can without the aid of such natural barriers, 
If there is any basis for this argument in favour of Pakistan, the 
non-Muslims will be perfectly justified in apprehending, particu- 
lajly after the declarations of the long-range objectives of the esta- 
blishment of Pakistan mentioned earlier, that the proposal to 
deprive them of the natural defence of the country has a sinister 
motive behind it, and this may induce them not t^TgroFTfr a" parH- 
tiorfih anyHcaser 

There may, however, be much to be said in favour jj>f Hr. 
Amhcdkar's thesis that 'asafe armv s bt^pi-than a safe border/ 7 

The question of defence has to he considered m the light of 
the latest developments in the nature and form of armaments and 
the technique of strategy rendered necessary thereby. But even in 
view of the old technique there vxill be a considerable sea-coast left 
to be defended by the Muslim State both in the NortlvAVest and 
in the Eastern Zojie, apart from the enormous sea-coast left to be 
defended by the rest of India. All this at once raises the question 
of the resources, of .the Mu^sljiri ^ancl non-Muslim States for purposes 
of defence. They will both have to provide not only for defence 
against aggressors from outside Jnclia but also as between the 
Muslim and non-Muslim States within the present boundaries of 
India." TPdoesTiot require any elaborate calculation to show that 
in case of partition while the resources of both the Muslim and 
non-Muslim States will be considerably reduced their defence re- 
quirements will enormously increase and it may well be that each 
by itself will find itself so crippled as to render effective defence 
beyond the means of any without unbearable hardship to the people 
at large 'inhabiting each zone. We have seen in the chapters on 
finance and industrial resources the position of the Muslim and non- 
Muslim States, and it can be safch asserted that both in respect of 
finance and industrial resources, while considerably crippled by 
separation, the non-Muslim zone wilPbe in a bcttcV and stronger 
position as compared with the Muslim States. The Muslim States 
will have neither the finance nor the material resources to equip 
themselves for defence. In any case 'it is a matter of vital impor- 
tance to all inhabitants of India that her defences do not become 
disorganized and many-sided, too elaborate to be effective and too 
expensive to be maintained; her position in the international world 
must be fully assured/ 8 

7. Dr B. J&. Ambedkar: "Thoughts or, Pakistan " p 05. 

8. Sultan Ahmad, op. cit, p. 87. 


There is another aspect of the question of defence to which 
reference is made by Prof. Coupland which has to be further consi- 
dered, particularly by the protagonists of Pakistan. If independent 
Muslim and non-Muslim States are established, each will undoubt- 
edly maintain its own army, navy and air-force, which will be com- 
posed naturally of its own nationals. This will have the effect of 
considerably changing the composition of the personnel of the 
Army. Dr Ambeclkar has pointed out that in 1856 just before the 
Mutiny the Indian infantry comprised not less than 90 per cent of 
its men from North-East India, U.P. and Bihar and less than 10 
per cent from the North-Western Zone. In 1858 just after the 
Mutiny and as the result of change of policy due to it, the position 
was completely altered and the army consisted of 47 per cent from 
the North-Western Zone, 6 per cent from Nepal, Garhwal and 
Kumaon, and 47 per cent from North-East India 1 , U.P. and Bihar. 
'The distinction between martial and non-martial classes which 
was put forth for the first time in 1879 as a matter of principle and 
which was later on .insisted upon as a matter of serious considera- 
tion by Lord Roberts and recognized by Lord Kitchener as a prin- 
ciple governing recruitment of the Indian Army had nothing to 
do with the origin of this preponderance of the pien of the North- 
West in the Indian Army.' It had resulted by 1930 in increasing 
the percentage of men from the North- Western zone to 58.5, from 
Nepal, Garhwal and Kumaon to 22, and reducing that of men from 
the North-East, U.P. and Bihar to 1 i, the remaining being contri- 
buted by South India 5.5 per cent and by Burma 3 per cent. 9 

Table LI opposite taken from Dr Ambedkar's book shows in 
an unmistakable manner the fact that the communal composition 
of the Indian Army has been undergoing a profound change. 

'The figures show a phenomenal rise in the strength of the 
Punjabi Musalman and the Pathan. They also show a substantial 
reduction of the Sikhs from the first to the third place; by the 
degradation of the Rajputs to the fourth place and by the closing 
of the ranks fto the U.P. Brahmins, the Madras! Musalmans and 
the Tamilians.' 10 

Analysing the figures relating to the communal composition 
of the Indian Army in 1930, Dr Ambeclkar comes to the conclusion 
that the Musalmans were 36 per cent of the infantry, if we exclude 
the Gurkhas from the total, or 30 per cent if we include them, and 
they were 30 per cent of the Indian cavalry. With the exception 
of a negligible proportion of i per cent of the infantry that came 
from the neighbourhood of Delhi, all the remaining Musalmans in 
the infantry and over 19 per cent of the entire cavalry came from 
the Punjab and N.-W.F.P. 11 The figures for subsequent years were 
not disclosed by the Government in spite of several attempts made 

9. Ambedkar, op. cit., p. 70. 10. ibid., p,,75. 11, ibid., p. 76. 


in 1914 

in 1918 

in 1919 


in 1930 


















16. b 





































* 1.67 





, 3.0 



Changes in the Communal Composition of the Indian Army 
Area & Conamnitiaa 

I The Punjab & 
H.-W.F.P. & Kashmir 

1 Sikhs 

2 Punjabi Muslifta 

3 Pathana 

II t^pal, Kumaon 


III Upper India 

1 U. P. Rajputa 

2 Hindustani Musalmanf 

3 Brahmins 

IV South India 
1 Marathas 

2. Madras! Musalmana 
3 Tamils 

V Burmans 

by the members <of the Central Assembly to get them in answer 
to questions. It was therefore with good reason that Sir Sikandar 
Hayat Khan as a Punjabi Musalman in the outlines of a scheme of 
Indian Federation insisted that the composition of the Indian Army 
as on January 1937, shall not be altered and in case of reduction, 
the communal proportion shall be maintained subject to relaxation 
only in case of war or other emergency. Besides the Musalmans, 
the Sikhs who constituted 13.58 per cent of the army in 1930 also 
came from the Punjab. One immediate and inevitable result of 
separation will be the demobilization of this large percentage of 
the personnel of the*Indian army from the army of the non-Muslim 
zone, leaving the Muslim state to absorb them, if it can, in its own 
army. *tt is true that in view of the insistent demand from all 
parts of India to do away with the artificial distinction between the 
martial and non-martial classes, which as we have seen was based 
on expediency more as a reward tq the Punjab^and a punish- 
ment to the U.P. and Bihar for the part played by the residents of 
those areas in the Mutiny than on any real or historical grounds, 
no national Government will be able to maintain "the proportions 
mentioned above and will have to ensure a fairer distribution as 
between the Provinces, even if no division takes place. Even so 
the break will not be so sudden or extensive as in the case of parti- 
tion and the establishment of independent states. Prof. Coupland 
has said that even a reduction of the Muslim proportion in the army 
which in s i939 was more than one-third and is now 30.8 per cenj, 


to less than 25 per Cent would affect the standard of living in the 
Punjab which owes so much to the pay and pensions of Punjabi 
troops. 12 How much worse the situation will be when this avenue 
of employment in the Hindustan army is entirely closed on account 
of separation can well be imagined. 

Jt may be argued that those who arc now employed in the 
Indian army will be employed in the army of the separated Muslim 
State. This may happen, although it is difficult, if not impossible, 
for the~ small Muslim State to maintain an army on a scale big 
enough to employ the whole demobilized personnel. But even if 
it does employ theip all, the entire cost will have to be raised by 
the Muslim State from among its own people without any contri- 
bution from the rest of India. The non-Muslim zone will stand to 
;*ain what the Muslim zone wilt lose, as the amount whatever it 
may be that will be spent by the former on its army will be spent 
among the people \yho will contribute the revenue. 

(5) Ky partition and only by partition, it is said, can Indian 
Muslims acquire thf power of economic self-determination. There 
are two aspects of the economic question. One relates to the loaves 
and fishes of office. The Muslim /(Mies, if converted into indepen- 
dent states, can hardly improve the position of the Musalmans iii 
this respect in those areas. The percentage of public employment 
is already fixed for the various communities, and if it is considered 
inequitable or unjust in any particular it can be revised. But unless 
it is intended thai non-Muslims shall be practically excluded from 
State employment or reduced to a position of inferiority on account 
merely of their religion, it is difficult to understand how their pro- 
portion could be much altered. Besides, it should be remembered 
that it is in respect of employment by the State that any reciprocity 
between Muslims and non-Muslims in their respective states can 
best be given effect to without raising serious international compli- 
cations. With their larger proportion in the population in the 
Muslim states, the non-Muslims will always be in a stronger posi- 
tion than the r Muslims in non-Muslim states. It will be difficult, it 
not impossible, for Muslims in non-Muslim states, with a popula- 
tion of i to 13 per cent of Muslims, to claim the same proportion or 
weightage in services as the non-Muslims in the Muslim states 
with their population ranging between 25 and 48 per cent. The 
result is bound to be a reduction in the percentage of Muslim 
employees in the non-Muslim states without a corresponding re- 
duction in the number of non -Muslim employees in the Muslim 
states on the basis of fairness and reciprocity. Any agreement as 
regards weightage will be open to revision in case of separation, 
for the simple reason that such agreement did not contemplate $c~ 

12. Coupland, op. cit, p. 77. 


paration, and what may be conceded to members of the same state 
cannot and need not be conceded in case of out and out separation. 
The Muslims in Hindustan thus stand to lose in respect of stale 
employment without any corresponding' gain to Muslims in the 
Muslim states, even if it be assumed that larger employment to 
Muslims in the Muslim states will be any consolation or economic 
advantage to Muslims in Hindustan in the face of the loss of 

The second aspect relates to economic improvement b> 
industrial expansion. Now it cannot be asserted that the dominant 
position which non-Muslims are said to occupy in industry in 
India is due to any political advantage that tTicy have enjoyed. 
Whatever political power there is or has been in the comitry*lKK> 
been^enjoyed neither by Hindus nor by Muslims but by the British, 
and if Hindus have attained a stronger position than Muslims, it 
is not due to their political dominance, which they have never en- 
joyed, but to their enterprise. If economic superiority were due 
to political dominance determined by th<jir proportion in their popu 
lation, the Parsjs would be nowhere in the picture, as they form 
an infinitesimal percentage of the population of India. Yet they 
hold and occupy a position which is inferior to none, if not\superk>r 
even to that of the JHindus. No one grudges them their prosperity 
and they have never complained of being suppressed by the vast 
ocean of humanity of India which is not Parsi. There is therefore 
no point in saying that Hindus hold a dominant position. They 
can be reduced or degraded from that position only if the Muslim 
state uses its political power communally and not justly and fairly/ 
as among its nationals. In other words they cannot lose their posu 
tion unless they are discriminated against in the Muslim state, iji" 
that is the intention of the protagonists of Pakistan and there cajti 
be no other if what is claimed in favour of partition is to be accepte'd 
as giving the shape of things to comethey should not expect non- 
Muslims to accept that situation. The position would be different 
of course :f Hindus had political power and had used it to their own 
advantage and to the detriment of Muslims. But as tfatecl above 
they have never enjoyed any power in the Centre and whatever 
power they enjoyed in the Provinces for a short period of 27 months 
has been enjoyed by the Muslims in the Pakistan Provinces for at 
least 8 years without interruption and with the best of goodwill 
on the part of the British. It is also worth remembering in this 
connexion that some Hindus and Sikhs of the Punjab have esta- 
blished their industrial concerns even outside the Punjab by sheer 
dint of their ability and enterprise. The Hindus of Rajputana of 
Kathiawar and Gujerat and of Chettinad, like the Memons rind 
KJiojas among Musalmans, constitute the great commercial and 
industrial community in India. Thev have not attained their nosi- 


tiun by reason of any political dominance. Other Musalmans art 
not likely to improve their position unless they intend to suppress 
all others and this will hardly be fair to their non-Muslim nationals 
in the Muslim independent states. 

III. Arguments against Partition 

The grounds on which separation is claimed are thus either 
unsubstantial or such as are not likely to be accepted as a just and 
fair basis for separation. On the other hand there arc very sub- 
stantial reasons against separation. 

We may shortly indicate some of them here. 


(1) The days of small independent states are numbered if not 
gone already. Recent experience has shown that no small state can 
preserve its independence. Even large states are hard put to it to 
preserve it. The natural tendency is in favour of combinations of 
states. Something in the nature of a Super-State even above the 
bigger states is not beyond the range of practical politics today. 
It would thereforeebe flying in the face of world forces to reduce the 
size and strength of India and establish in its stead a number of 
small states. It may well be that the spirit of separation may not 
end with the partition of the Muslim zones aivt once it begins to 
operate it may lead to a situation in which India may have to be 
cut up not only into Muslim and non-Muslim states but even the 
Muslim and non-Muslim states may be cut up into several smaller 
states apart from the states of the Princes. This will make India, 
if it ever attains independence after being thus cut up into numerous 
small principalities, a house divided against itself and exposed to 
intrigues by foreign powers. As a result all its component inde- 
pendent states will be weak, unable to protect themselves against 
foreign aggression, and liable to be played against one another. 

(2) The national resources of the country as a whole can be 
much better utilized to the benefit of all, if there is mutual accom- 
modation and agreed joint action, which will become impossible 
in case of independent states. The mere fact that two states are 
independent puts up a barrier against such mutual accommodation 
and joint action between them. Planning on a large scale becomes 
impossible in 1 case of small' states, all of which are not equally well 
endowed by nature and most of which have to be dependent on 
others for some very important article or other absolutely necessary 
for the welfare and protection of a modern state. The larger the 
area, the greater the variety, the wider the distribution of natural 
resources agricultural, mineral and power-producing the better 
the chances of a planned economy. India will have lost this 
advantage as a result of division, and in this respect the Muslim 
states on the North-West and East will be the worst sufferers, as 


Has been indicated elsewhere in this book. We have seen how the 
Muslim states will not have the resources to run the administration 
and meet the cost of defence. 

(3) The crying need of India today is that the state should 
spend more and more on the nation-building departments. India 
has suffered immeasurably in the past under the British Govern- 
ment which has regarded itself more as a police state than anything 
else, neglecting and starving the nation-building departments. The 
whole country has a great lee-way to make up and the Muslim 
states will be no exception to this. Division of the country will 
inevitably lead to reduction of resources and lyake it difficult for 
each of the Muslim and non-Muslim zones to meet this growing 

(4) The modern tendency even in Muslim countries is to base 
politics and economics more and more on other considerations than 
religion. Whatever the Muslim League and the protagonists of 
Pakistan may say, there is no doubt that the Muslim states of the 
world today are becoming if they have not become already 
secular states, just like the Christian countries' of Europe. The 
question is whether Indian Muslims will be able to turn, the tide 
of events and establish and maintain the state on any other basis 
in India. 

(5) It is well known that the proposal for partition has aroused 
strong opposition from alP non-Muslims and also from Muslims. 
It is not for me to say whether the Muslim League or those other 
groups like the Jamiat-ul-Ulema. the Jamiat-ul-Mominin, the 
Ahrars, the Nationalist Muslim organizations, the All-India Shia 
Conference and others represent the majority of Muslims. The 
fact remains that these latter have expressed their opposition to 
separation. Whatever the position may be so far as Muslims arc 
concerned, the Hindis and the Sikhs have declared their unequi- 
vocal determination to resist partition. This is bound to become 
more pronounced and more bitter with the persistence with which 
the proposal for division is pressed. It is difficult to forecast what 
shape this conflict may take in the future. One thing is certain: 
partition is not likely to be attained with the goodwill of those 
most concerned, and this illwill is bound to persist an both sides, 
even if the proposal succeeds, even after the separation is effected. 
Distrust which is the basis of the proposal is bound to grow and 
any hope that after separation things will settle down and the inde- 
pendent states \vill soon become friendly will have been built on 
and. The chances are that bitterness and distrust will make 
mutual accommodation more difficult and necessitate the main- 
tenance of protection forces on both sides. Economic warfare is 
not beyond the range of possibility, even if nothing worse happens. 

(6) A1J this is bound tp make the position of minorities in the 


independent states infinitely worse. As a result of this conflict 
between the majorities in the Muslim and non-Muslim Zones they 
will have lost what sympathy and goodwill they should have and 
their position will have become far worse than what is it today. 
For the minorities it will veritably be a case of jumping from 
the frying pan into the fire. The non-Muslim minorities will 
have the situation forced upon them, if the proposal succeeds. But 
the Muslim minority will have chosen it, worked for it and extorted 
it from the non-Muslims and could not blame any one else for it. 

Further, as explained elsewhere the minorities in the Muslim 
states will be better able, on account of their numbers and concen- 
tration, to protect themselves than the Muslim minorities in non- 
Muslim zones on account of their small size and because they are 
dispersed over a vast area. Nor will there be much chance of any 
reciprocity in regard to privileges and concessions for the simple 
reason that the Muslim states will not be in a position to reciprocate 
adequately and the non-Muslim state will have no adequate induce- 
ment for invoking reciprocity. 



Since the Muslim League passed the Pakistan resolution at its 
Lahore session in March 1940, various schemes have been put 
forward with a view to meeting* the legitimate desires of the Mus- 
lims of India. These may be treated as alternatives to Pakistan/ 

The first and foremost place should be given to the Draft 
Declaration of the British War Cabinet which has become popu- 
larly known as the Cripps proposal on accoifnt of its being first 
made known to India by Sir Stafford Cripps. We are concerned 
here only with that part of it which deals with the nature of the 
Indian Union and the agency for drawing up a constitution for it, 
and not with the ad interim, arrangement proposed in it nor with the 
negotiations which Sir Stafford Cripps carried on and the ultimate 
outcome thereof. The Draft Declaration was intended 'to lay 
down in precise and clear terms the steps which they [His Majesty's 
Government] propose shall be taken for the earliest possible reali- 
zation of Self-Government in India. The object is the Creation of 
a new Indian Union which shall constitute a Dominion, associated 
with the United Kingdom and the other Dominions by a common 
allegiance to the Crown, but equal to them in every respect, in no 
way subordinate in any respect of its domestic or external affairs/ 
'Immediately upon the cessation of hostilities steps shall be taken 
to set up in India, in the manner described hereafter, an elected 
body charged with the task of 1 raining a new Constitution for 
India/ with provision 'for the participation of the Indian States in 
the Constitution Making Body', and 4 His Majesty's Government 
undertake to accept and implement forthwith the Constitution so 
framed subject only to: 

'(i) the right of any Province of British India that is not 
prepared to accept the new Constitution to retain its present consti- 
tutional position, provision being made for its subsequent accession 
if it so decides. With such non-acceding Provinces, should they 
so desire, His Majesty's Government will be prepared to agree 
upon a new constitution, giving them'the same full status as the 
Indian Union, and arrived at by a procedure analogous to that here 
laid down. 

'(ii) the signing -of a Treaty which shall be negotiated 
between His Majesty's Government and the Constitution Making 
Body covering all necessary matters arising out of the complete 
transfer of responsibility from British to Indian hands and for the 
protection of racial and religious minorities; but will not impose 
any restriction on the power of the Indian , Union to decide in the 
future its relation to the other Mepiber States of the British Com- 


monwealth. The Constitution Making Body shall be composed as 
follows unless the leaders of Indian opinion in the principal commu- 
nities agree upon some other form before the end of hostilities. 

'Immediately upon the result being known of the provincial 
elections which will be necessary at the end of hostilities, the entire 
membership of the Lower Houses of the Provincial Legislatures 
shall, as a single electoral college, proceed to the election of the 
Constitution Making Body by the system of proportional repre- 
sentation. This new body shall be in number about one-tenth of 
the number of the electoral college. Indian States shall be invited 
to appoint representatives in the same proportion to their total 
population as in the case of the representatives of British India as 
a whole, and with the same powers as the British Indian members/ 

It will appear from the summary given abo^e that the British 
Government proposed that steps should be taken on the cessation 
of hostilities to create a new Indian Union which would have the 
full status of a Dominion with the power to secede, if it so chose, 
from the British Cdmmonwealth. The new constitution was to be 
framed by a Constitution Making Body which was to be elected by 
the method of proportional representation by an electoraj college 
consisting of all the members of the Lower Ho&ses of the Provin- 
cial Legislatures for which fresh elections would have been held. 
It would also have representatives appointed by the Indian States 
who would bear the same proportion to the provincial representa- 
tion as their population bears to the population of the Provinces. 
The Constitution framed by the Constitution Making Body would 
be accepted and implemented by the British Government subject 
to the proviso that any Province which was not prepared to accept 
the new Constitution would be free not to accede to the Union and 
would be entitled to frame a constitution of, its own and to have 
the same status as the Indian Union. There would be a treaty 
negotiated between the British Government and the Constitution 
Making Body covering all matters arising out of a transfer of res- 
ponsibility a^id the protection of racial and religious minorities. It 
did^not start with separate independent States but with an Indian 
Union, leaving it to any Province which did not accept the Consti- 
tution not to accede to the Union and to have the same, status 
vis-a-vis the British Government as the Indian Union. In the words 
of Professor Coupland, 'the British Government had clearly stated 
its objective as a new Indian Union to form a Dominion under a 
new constitution for India. No one can read the Draft Declaration 
without recognising that the non-adherence provisions are intended 
only as a means of preventing in the last resort a break-down of 
the whole scheme for setting India free/ 1 It was principally for 

1. R, Coupland: "Indian Politics." 1936-43, p. 276. i